Cover

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Title Page

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p. iii

Copyright Page

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p. iv

Table of Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

First, for sharing their stories and interpretations with me despite distances of language and community, I say elahkwa to Andrew Peynetsa, Joseph Peynetsa, and Walter Sanchez, and maltiox to Vicente de Le

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Introduction

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pp. 3-19

Here speaks the storyteller, telling by voice what was learned by ear. Here speaks a poet who did not learn language structure from one teacher and language meaning from another, nor plot structure from one and characterization from another, nor even an art of storytelling from one and an art of hermeneutics from another, but always heard all these things working together in the stories of other storytellers. And this poet,...

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Guide to Reading Aloud

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pp. 20-22

In passages set in poetic lines, pause at least half a second each time a new line begins at the left margin, and at least two seconds for a dot separating lines. Do not pause within lines; indented words are continuations of long lines. Use...

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Prologue: When the White Mask Is Worn

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pp. 23-28

First published in Alcheringa, n.s. 2, no. l (1976): 130-32, as part of a transcript of a tape-recording of a longer talk given at the First International Ethnopoetics Symposium, held at the University of Wisconsin at Milwautkee in March 1975. The book referred to is Dennis Tedlock, Finding the Center, where the story retold here was first published (pp. 217-22). Behind that version is a tape-recording of a 1965 performance in the Zuni language ...

Part One: Transcription and Translation

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Chapter 1. On the Translation of Style in Oral Narrative

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pp. 31-61

Those who have sought to transform the spoken arts of the American Indian into printed texts have attempted to cross linguistic, poetic, and cultural gulfs much larger than those faced by translators who merely move from one Indo-European written tradition to another, but they have had very little to say about translation as such. Franz...

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Chapter 2. The Girl and the Protector: A Zuni Story

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pp. 62-106

The moment has arrived to put into practice the idea that a translation of an oral narrative should be presented as a performable script. But if I were to follow the normal practice of anthropologists, linguists, and folklorists, I would now send you, dear reader, to an appendix or else to a separate volume—a memoir, a monograph, or the annual report ...

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Chapter 3. Learning to Listen: Oral History as Poetry

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pp. 107-123

Beyond the question of how to score oral performances lies the further question of how to talk about such performances. Might it not be that such talk, when published, should itself escape the prose format, arguing its case not only in its words and sentences but also in its graphic design? David Antin...

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Chapter 4. Translating Ancient Words: From Paleography to the Tape-Recorder

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pp. 124-155

As a mythographer who has learned to regard oral narrative as a performing art rather than a direct analog of literary narrative, I have aimed my work in transcription and translation at the production of a performable and breathable script or score, rather than milling out scanned verse or justified prose. This work started...

Part Two: Poetics

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Chapter 5. The Poetics of Verisimilitude

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pp. 159-177

It is my purpose here to take a look, at features of narrative style and structure which have to do with the ways in which narratives reflect or distort the world of everyday experience. I will center the discussion on Zuni fictional narratives and draw comparisons with our own and other narratives or narrative-like phenomena, including everything from horror films to scientific proofs. The result...

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Chapter 6. On Praying, Exclaiming, and Saying Hello in Zuni

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pp. 178-193

In Zuni there are two ways of radically removing speech (penanne) or song (tenanne) from the plane of everyday vocalization. The speaker or singer may either ana k'eyato'u, "raise it right up," or else yam ik'eenannakkya peye'a, "utter it with hislher heart." In the case of singing, "raising up" affects the last two parts of a five-part song of the ...

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Chapter 7. Phonography and the Problem of Time in Oral Narrative Events

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pp. 194-215

Phonography has been with us for just over a century now. Phonography: the mechanical inscription of the voice, coupled with a mechanical reading aloud of that inscription, all without the intervention of alphabetic writing. The machines that first hit the market were...

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Chapter 8. The Forms of Mayan Verse

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pp. 227-230

What happens when our notions about what a poetics might be are held within the orbit of linguistics is well illustrated by the work of Roman Jakobson. In a statement meant to be a general pronouncement on poetics, he argues that the "poetic function" of language is actualized as a...

Part Three: Hermeneutics

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p. 231

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Chapter 9. The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation in American Indian Religion

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pp. 233-246

Our text for this morning comes from the Aashiwi, as they call themselves, or from the Zuni Indians. They live in a town in west-central New Mexico and are now twice as numerous as they were when the Spanish first counted them in 1540. 'Their language is shiwi'ma, one...

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Chapter 10. Beyond Logocentrism: Trace and Voice Among the Quich

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pp. 247-260

. . . . I don't know where to begin this story. Quich

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Chapter 11. Creation and the Popol Vuh: A Hermeneutical Approach

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pp. 261-271

Generations of Americanists, including such figures as Brinton and Morley, have held the Popol Vuh to be the most important single native-language text in all the New World, and much emphasis has been laid on the pre-Columbian character of its contents. But the Popol Vuh ...

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Chapter 12. Word, Name, Epithet, Sign, and Book in Quich

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pp. 272-281

For an exploration of Quiché epistemological boundaries, the Popol Vuh is without rival as a starting place. Its writer takes a good deal of trouble to indicate his epistemic grounds, which until he reaches the sixteenth century at the end of the book lie beyond the limits of anything he himself experienced—or, to put that into Quiché, beyond anything xuuachih, "he faced," which...

Part Four: Toward Dialogue

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Chapter 13. Ethnography as Interaction: The Storyteller, the Audience, the Fieldworker, and the Machine

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pp. 285-301

One November evening at Zuni, New Mexico, for the first time in a year's devotion to the ethnography of Zuni storytelling, I suddenly found myself in near-perfect conditions for the witnessing of Zuni storytelling as it really should be, rather than in near-perfect conditions for the making of a studio-like recording. I had...

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Chapter 14. The Story of How a Story Was Made

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pp. 302-311

What happens when a mythographer is present on the dialogical grounds where oral performances take place might be described, in the case of a tape-recorded tale like "The Girl and the Protector" (see Chapter 2), as a general decontextualizing effect that anticipates the decontextualization involved in playback, transcription, translation, and publication. The response of the native audience...

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Chapter 15. Reading the Popol Vuh over the shoulder of a diviner and finding out what's so funny

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pp. 312-320

One day several years ago-it was Uucub Ahmac or "Seven Sinner" on the Mayan calendar—I found myself looking at the Quiché text of the Popol Vuh, a text written some centuries ago, over the shoulder of a Quiché—who was not only very much alive, but who was laughing about something he had just read there. This was a man...

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Chapter 16. The Analogical Tradition and the Emergence of a Dialogical Anthropology

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pp. 321-338

The words that follow were composed for a Harvey Lecture in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, delivered on the eve of the first day of spring, 1979. I mention this here (rather than in a footnote) because it is consistent with the theme of the lecture itself that the circumstances of anthropological discourse, whether that discourse comes from the field, the armchair...

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Epilogue: When Mountains Shine

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pp. 339-343

On October 13, 1976, Barbara Tedlock and I were in Chuua 4,ak, a Quich

Bibliography

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pp. 345-356

Index

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pp. 357-365