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Reviews 81 Indian buffalo hunts, hunting feasts, and above all religious scenes.” Many of the latter are embellished with images of demons, devils, and serpents, creations intended to make the hearts of his aboriginal followers quake. The pictures reproduced in the book now published, 238 of them in full color, have an engaging though unexpected freshness and buoyancy, emerging as they do from the archives in Montreal where they had been left by “the blackrobe” a hundred years before. Like Parkman’s Oregon Trail, this is a vast picture book, though the artist here used pigments and brushes as well as words. Many of the details having anthropological or historical significance resemble details one has come across before in Parkman, or Catlin, or Bodmer. As a matter of fact, nothing in Point’s portfolio can compare with the meticulous draftsmanship of, say, Bodmer’s famous “Hidatsa DogDancer ” or his “Portrait of a Young Mandan”. Nevertheless, this is not to deny the appeal of Point’s exuberant record of the people, their costumes, and their ways of life as revealed in this handsome book. As for his written account, telling details abound. “Before the hunt,” one learns, “the only well-fed creatures in camp are the horses. They are too valuable and too badly needed not to be carefully cared for. The dogs, on the other hand, are pitifully lean. After the hunt the situations are reversed.” And another reference to dogs tells worlds about the situations when food was scarce. “The dogs spared nothing that smelled of animal. Leather re­ ceptacles, saddles, stirrups, things that had only the smell of leather about them, became prey to their rapacity.” Lodge covers were, of course, made of buffalo hides, “a single lodge sometimes requiring fifteen to twenty hides. Lodges are designated by the number of skins used in their making just as we describe houses by their number of stories or windows.” “Each wigwam [sic] counted usually seven or eight persons, and these, together with their provisions, required the use of about twenty horses.” Similar intriguing information appears about matters of dress, marriage, eating, making medicine, fighting, holding council, and other aspects of tribal and family life. Karl Young, Brigham Young University Run Toward the Nightland, By Jack Frederick and Anna Gritts Kilpatrick. (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1967. xiv + 184 pages, notes, bibliography. $5.00.) When John F. and Anna G. Kilpatrick wrote this book about the magic practices of the Oklahoma Cherokees, it was one of the several results of their long love affair with researches into the history and ethnology of their own people—a love that led them to collect countless manuscripts written 82 Western American Literature in the unique syllabary devised by the famous Cherokee teacher Sequoyah. In these writings they often found detailed instructions for the proper pro­ cedures for acts of magic for a surprisingly large scope of causes and effects. It is these arcane incantations that they have brought together in this book, which may well comprise the most exhaustive study of this culture factor within any one tribe. While similar researches have been published about numerous groups of primitive people, in none of them have I found such a large range for the uses of magic. What makes this work the more valuable is that it was not done by an “outsider” but by members of the society itself. The Kilpatricks can scarcely be considered practitioners of sorcery since they are well educated persons completely integrated into the ‘‘white man’s” or what I prefer to call the European-American culture. But they have retained sensitivity to the culture which they have inherited and respect for it as well. What is more, they have been serious students of the Cherokee language, archaic as well as contemporary, which has made them most qualified to translate these incantations correctly. The book, then, well deserves the attention of students of this all too often badly interpreted culture factor, but many readers may find themselves disappointed in it because it is not a profound (should I say scientific?) study nor is it what the publisher would have us believe—a book of translations “exceedingly beautiful, filled with...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 81-82
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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