II. Ethnography
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65  II Ethnography Performing as a Moral Act Ethical Dimensions of the Ethnography of Performance For the story of my life is always embedded in the story of those communities from which I derive my identity. . . . The self has to find its moral identity in and through its membership in communities such as those of the family, the neighborhood, the city, and the tribe . . . . Without those moral particularities to begin from there would never be anywhere to begin; but it is in moving forward from such particularity that the search for the good, for the universal, consists. —­ Alasdair MacIntyre (1984, 221) During the crucial days of 1954, when the Senate was pushing for termination of all Indian rights, not one single scholar, anthropologist, sociologist, historian, or economist came forward to support the tribes against the detrimental policy. —­ Vine Deloria, Jr. (1969, 98) Ethnographers study the diversity and unity of cultural performance as a universal human resource for deepening and clarifying the meaningfulness of life. They help us see performance with all its moral entailments, not as a flight from lived responsibilities. Henry Glassie represents the contemporary ethnographer’s interest in the interanimation between expressive art and daily life, texts, and contexts: I begin study with sturdy, fecund totalities created by the people themselves, whole statements, whole songs or houses or events, away from which life expands, toward which life orients in seek- ...