Anthropology

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Format: Paperback
  • A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

    The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

    Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

    Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

    Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.

$24.95

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Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts
Author: Lynn Gehl
Format: Paperback
  • This code cracking book is written for people who wish to become culturally literate in the Anishinaabe worldview. This book is suitable for both Anishinaabeg and settler allies seeking greater understanding of a worldview, tradition, and knowledge philosophy once criminalized by the Canadian Government and consequently forced underground. It is also suitable for academics, both undergraduates and graduates, interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Indigenous governance traditions.

$19.95

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Coast Salish Essays
Author: Wayne Suttles
Format: Paperback
  • Wayne Suttles has devoted much of his professional life to research on the cultures of the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest, especially the Coast Salish of the Georgia Strait-Puget Sound Basin. Born and raised in this region, he has been guided by a life-long love of its natural environment and wish to know how its Native peoples lived in it, understood it, and felt it. In 1946 he began ethnographic field work with the Straits peoples and in 1951 presented in his Ph.D. dissertation one of the fullest accounts that we have of the fishing hunting, and gathering foundation of a Northwest Coast Indian culture. He is probably best known for his contribution to the “ecological” approach to the Northwest Coast. In essays included in this volume, he was the first to challenge the received wisdom that Northwest Coast Indians lived in perpetual Eden-like abundance and that their lavish potlatches were merely the expression of cultural values gone wild, and he was the first to suggest that cultural differences within the Northwest Coast may be related to environmental differences. These essays have had a lasting impact on the study of the Northwest Coast, provoking argument and suggesting problems for research and hypotheses to test in both social anthropology and archeology. Other essays deal with Native knowledge, belief, and art, with Native responses to the European invasion, and with the prehistory of Northwestern North America. All are updated with references to more recent works and the author’s own reconsideration of some matters.

$29.95

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End-of-Earth People: The Arctic Sahtu Dene
Author: Bern Will Brown
Format: Paperback
  • Bern Will Brown, noted northern author, artist, photographer, and respected community leader living in Colville Lake, Northwest Territories, provides new insights and perspectives on the Sahtu Dene, the people referred to as the "Hareskin" in Alexander Mackenzie's 1793 journal. Having lived among them for over sixty years and as a speaker of their dialect, Brown is well positioned to provide an adventure in history and culture rooted in the Hareskin traditional way of life.

    End-of-Earth People, his latest contribution and a valuable record of the North, is a portrait of a people Brown has come to know in ways that anthropologists and ethnologists can only envy.

$35.00

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Grateful Prey: Rock Cree Human-Animal Relationships
Format: Paperback
  • The interaction between religious beliefs and hunting practices among the Asiniskawidiniwak or Rock Crees of northern Manitoba is the focus of Robert Brightman's detailed study. This foraging society, he says, bases aspects of its hunting and trapping largely on what we call "religious" conceptions.

    Seeking an ideology, however, that incorporates Cree beliefs about human-animal differences and the relationships that should exist between them as hunter and prey, Brightman finds these beliefs to be disordered and unstable rather than systematic. Animals are represented as simultaneously more and less powerful than humans. The hunter-prey relationship is talked about as both collaborative and adversarial. Exploring the influence of these religious representations on technical aspects of subsistence historically, Brightman finds that Crees' attitudes and actions toward animals were, and are, relatively arbitrary with respect to biological and environmental forces. Anthropologists will see in his well-researched discussion a challenge to prevailing ecological and Marxist approaches to foraging societies.

$29.95

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How a People Die
Author: Alan Fry
Format: Paperback
  • It's Saturday morning on the Kwasi Reserve. The citizens are red-eyed and bleary, their shabby houses littered with empty bottles. But this Saturday is different. Last night while her parents partied, a baby girl died in her crib, her body crusted with filth and sores.

    RCMP Corporal Thompson stirs up a hornet's nest when he charges the infant's parents with criminal neglect. But who, or what, really killed Annette Joseph? "Tell us how a people die," one character says, "and we can tell you how a people live."

    When How a People Die appeared in 1970, its chilling picture of a culture mired in squalor caused an international sensation. Now, as a plague of substance abuse and suicide sweeps Canadian reserves, it is more timely than ever. In a new introduction, author Alan Fry offers alternatives to the bleak future he envisioned in How a People Die.

    The controversial novel of death and despair on a BC Indian Reserve. ". . .one of the most sensitive and incisive statements on human alienation I have ever seen."
    -N. Scott Momaday, New York Times Book Review

    ". . .required reading for anyone who is seriously concerned about the [present] social turmoil."
    -Vine Deloria, author of Custer Died For Your Sins and God is Red

    "Come on Indians, dammit yes, read this book and get angry." -David Monture, Indian News

$16.95

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Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values
Author: Leo Tulugarjuk
Format: Paperback
  • Through interviews with elders from three regions of Nunavut, Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values provides a wealth of information on traditional family values. Covering relationships between siblings, elders and grandchildren, uncles and aunts, husbands and wives, and in-laws, this book is an indispensable resource of information on how Inuit families traditionally lived, and how traditional ways can be implemented in the modern world.

$19.95

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Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast, 40th Anniversary Edition
Author: Hilary Stewart
Format: Paperback
  • Of the many resources available to the First Nations of the Northwest Coast, the most vital was fish. The people devised ingenious ways of catching the different species of fish, creating a technology vastly different from that of today’s industrial world. With attention to clarity and detail, Hilary Stewart illustrates their hooks, lines, sinkers, lures, floats, clubs, spears, harpoons, nets, traps, rakes and gaffs, showing how these were made and used in over 450 remastered drawings and 75 photographs. With material gathered from museum archives, fish camps and coastal village elders, the scope of this classic volume covers everything from how the catch was butchered, cooked, rendered and preserved to the attributes of fish designs on household and ceremonial objects—images that tell of fishing’s importance to the whole culture. The spiritual aspects of fishing are also described—prayers and ceremonies in gratitude and honour to the fish, as well as customs and taboos indicating the people’s respect for this life-giving resource.

    An incredibly varied and highly refined assemblage of tools, techniques and knowledge, the culmination of thousands of years of evolutionary development, Indian Fishing is more than a bare account of the technology of fishing; it is about fish and fishing in the total lives of the Northwest Coast people. A classic, thoroughly researched and informative text, it examines fishing techniques of a people who have lived on the coast for over 9,000 years to reveal their complex and rich culture.

Authentic Canadian Content
$28.95

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Indian Horse
Format: Paperback
  • In 2013-2014, Indian Horse was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    Saul Indian Horse is dying. Tucked away in a hospice high above the clash and clang of a big city, he embarks on a marvelous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway, with all its sorrows and joys. With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he's sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man. Drawing on his great-grandfather's mystical gift of vision, Saul Indian Horse comes to recognize the influence of everyday magic on his own life. In this wise and moving novel, Richard Wagamese shares that gift of magic with readers as well.

$21.95

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IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
Format: Paperback
  • Throughout American history, people of combined African and Native American descent have often struggled for acceptance, not only from dominant cultures but also from their own communities. In this collection of twenty-seven groundbreaking essays, authors from across the Americas explore the complex personal histories and contemporary lives of people wth a dual heritage that has rarely received attention as part of the multicultural landscape.

    Illustrated with seventy-five paintings, photographs, and drawings, the book brings to light an epic but little-known part of American history that speaks to present-day struggles for racial identity and understanding.

$25.99

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Inuit and Whalers on Baffin Island through German Eyes
Format: Paperback
  • Told from an ordinary man’s perspective, these are the journal and letters of Wilhelm Weike as he accompanied Franz Boas—the father of modern anthropology—on his journey to the arctic from 1883 to 1884. This extraordinary document of early arctic history provides a plain, direct view of the Inuit and the whalers in their arctic environment at the end of the 19th century. With invaluable contextual and complementary information, this book contributes key insights during the recent wave of scientific assessment of Franz Boas’s legacy in all social sciences.

$15.00

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Native American Food Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary
Format: Hardcover
  • Based on 25 years of research that combed every historical and anthropological record of Native American ways, this unprecedented culinary dictionary documents the food uses of 1500 plants by 220 Native American tribes from early times to the present.

    Like anthropologist Daniel E. Moerman s previous volume, Native American Medicinal Plants, this extensive compilation draws on the same research as his monumental Native American Ethnobotany, this time culling 32 categories of food uses from an extraordinary range of species. Hundreds of plants, both native and introduced, are described. The usage categories include beverages, breads, fruits, spices, desserts, snacks, dried foods, and condiments, as well as curdling agents, dietary aids, preservatives, and even foods specifically for emergencies. Each example of tribal use includes a brief description of how the food was prepared. In addition, multiple indexes are arranged by tribe, type of food, and common names to make it easy to pursue specific research.

    An essential reference for anthropologists, ethnobotanists, and food scientists, this will also make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of wild and cultivated local foods and the remarkable practical botanical knowledge of Native American forbears.

$52.95

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S'abadeb--The Gifts
Format: Paperback
  • S’abadeb, the Lushootseed word for “gifts,” invokes the reciprocity that is at the heart of Salish culture. It expresses the importance of offering gifts at potlatches, giving thanks during ceremonies, respecting the creativity bestowed upon artists and leaders and honouring the master artists, oral historians and cultural leaders who pass vital cultural information to future generations.

    S’abadeb—The Gifts brings together current scholarship with indigenous knowledge for the first time. Twelve essays examine how the history and culture of gifts are reflected in art, including pieces written by:

    artists Susan Point (Musqueam) and Shaun Peterson (Puyallup/Tulalip)
    scholars Carolyn Marr and Wayne Suttles
    cultural specialists Sonny McHalsie (Stó:ló) and Bruce Miller (Skokomish)

    More than 200 photographs, most of them full colour, showcase the best of Salish art, including monumental house posts, expertly crafted basketry and woven regalia and stunning contemporary works in glass wood, and paint.

$45.00

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Salish Blankets: Robes of Protection and Transformation, Symbols of Wealth
Traditional Territory: Squamish
Format: Paperback
  • Salish Blankets presents a new perspective on Salish weaving through technical and anthropological lenses. Worn as ceremonial robes, the blankets are complex objects said to preexist in the supernatural realm and made manifest in the natural world through ancestral guidance. The blankets are protective garments that at times of great life changes—birth, marriage, death—offer emotional strength and mental focus. A blanket can help establish the owner’s standing in the community and demonstrate a weaver’s technical expertise and artistic vision. The object, the maker, the wearer, and the community are bound and transformed through the creation and use of the blanket.

    Drawing on first-person accounts of Salish community members, object analysis, and earlier ethnographic sources, the authors offer a wide-ranging material culture study of Coast Salish lifeways. Salish Blankets explores the design, color/pigmentation, meaning, materials, and process of weaving and examines its historical and cultural contexts.

Authentic Canadian Content
$69.95

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Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws: Yeri7 re Stsq'ey's-kucw
Traditional Territory: Secwepemc
Format: Hardcover
  • Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws is a journey through the 10,000-year history of the Interior Plateau nation in British Columbia. Told through the lens of past and present Indigenous storytellers, this volume detail how a homeland has shaped Secwépemc existence while the Secwépemc have in turn shaped their homeland. Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt, compellingly weave together Secwépemc narratives about ancestors’ deeds. They demonstrate how these stories are the manifestation of Indigenous laws (stsq'ey') for social and moral conduct among humans and all sentient beings on the land, and for social and political relations within the nation and with outsiders. Breathing new life into stories about past transformations, the authors place these narratives in dialogue with written historical sources and knowledge from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, earth science, and ethnobiology. In addition to a wealth of detail about Secwépemc land stewardship, the social and political order, and spiritual concepts and relations embedded in the Indigenous language, the book shows how between the mid-1800s and 1920s the Secwépemc people resisted devastating oppression and the theft of their land, and fought to retain political autonomy while tenaciously maintaining a connection with their homeland, ancestors, and laws. An exemplary work in collaboration, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws points to the ways in which Indigenous laws and traditions can guide present and future social and political process among the Secwépemc and with settler society.

$39.95

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