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Horsefly Dress is a meditation on the experience and beauty of suffering, questioning its triggers and ultimate purpose through the lens of historical and contemporary interactions and complications of Séliš, Qĺispé, and Christian beliefs. Heather Cahoon’s collection explores dark truths about the world through first-person experiences, as well as the experiences of her family and larger tribal community. As a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Cahoon crafts poems that recount traditional stories and confront Coyote’s transformation of the world, including his decision to leave certain evils present, such as cruelty, greed, hunger, and death.

By weaving together stories of Cahoon’s family and tribal community with those of Coyote and his family, especially Coyote’s daughter, Horsefly Dress, the interactions and shared experiences show the continued relevance of traditional Séliš and Qĺispé culture to contemporary life. Rich in the imagery of autumnal foliage, migrating birds, and frozen landscapes, Horsefly Dress calls forth the sensory experience of grief and transformation. As the stories and poems reveal, the transformative powers associated with the human experience of loss belong to the past, present, and future, as do the traditional Salish-Pend d’Oreille stories that create the backbone of this intricate collection.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Horsefly Dress
  2. p. 3
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  1. Nunxwé
  2. pp. 4-5
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  1. Remnant Natisqélixw(tn)
  2. p. 6
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  1. Coyote and the Cross
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. From Trees
  2. p. 9
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  1. Méstm̀ /Lʔéw
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. The Origin of Death
  2. p. 12
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  1. Geography of Coyote
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. A Movement of Memory in Two Parts
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Rescue
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. Łčíčšeʔ
  2. p. 19
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  1. A Recurring Dream
  2. p. 20
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  1. Escape Routes
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Unexceptional
  2. p. 23
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  1. A Dream of Black Water
  2. p. 24
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  1. The Salish Root Word for Water
  2. p. 25
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  1. Peregrine Body
  2. p. 26
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  1. Łx̣wtó Spq'niʔs
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. Shelter
  2. p. 29
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  1. Perilous
  2. p. 30
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  1. A Child's Funeral
  2. p. 31
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  1. Meditations on Blue
  2. pp. 32-39
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  1. C̄́atnatqs
  2. p. 40
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  1. Rilke, Screech Owl, and Night Loons
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. Ode to Pulia, Every Mother
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. Death as a Lens
  2. p. 45
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  1. A Dream of Black Crows
  2. p. 46
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  1. Scƛ’lil
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. Render
  2. p. 49
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  1. To Forge Meaning
  2. pp. 50-53
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  1. A Dream of Wolves
  2. p. 54
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  1. x̣well
  2. p. 55
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  1. A Dream of a Darling Boy
  2. p. 56
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  1. Sharp
  2. p. 57
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  1. WASP
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. Red Osier Spiders
  2. p. 60
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  1. Unéxw
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. The Hawk Who Wears an Owl's Face
  2. p. 63
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  1. Baby Out of Cut-Open Woman
  2. pp. 64-65
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  1. Meta
  2. p. 66
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  1. A Dream of Shifting Faces
  2. p. 67
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  1. Magpies
  2. p. 68
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  1. Orb Weavers
  2. p. 69
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  1. Rebirth and the Almost Moon
  2. p. 70
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. Glossary of Salish Words
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 77-80
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816541881
Related ISBN
9780816540938
MARC Record
OCLC
1175917770
Pages
88
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-30
Language
English
Open Access
No
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