Sun Dance

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Potlatch at Gitsegukla: William Beynon's 1945 Field Notebooks
Authors:
Marjorie M Halpin
Format: Paperback

William Beynon was born in 1888 in Victoria to a Welsh father and a Tsimshian mother. He was an accomplished ethnographer and had a long career documenting the traditions of the Tsimshian, Nisga'a, and Gitksan. In 1945 he attended and actively participated in five days of potlatches and totem pole raisings at Gitksan village of Gitsegukla. There he compiled four notebooks containing detailed and often verbatim information about the events he witnessed. For over 50 years these notebooks have seen limited circulation among specialists, who have long recognized them as the most perceptive and complete account of potlatching ever recorded. In Potlatch at Gitsegukla the almost 200 pages of the notebooks are published for the first time. Sketches and a selection of photographs taken by Beynon are also included (augmented by photographs taken by Wilson Duff in 1952). In addition to meticulously transcribing and annotating the text of the notebooks, Margaret Anderson and Marjorie Halpin provide a comprehensive introduction that puts Beynon's account into a Gitskan cultural perspective, as well as extensive appendices listing names, places, and Gitskan terms in the notebooks. There is also an excellent timeline of key events in Gitskan history by James McDonald and Jennifer Joseph. William Beynon's notebooks are among the most significant written records of Northwest coast potlatching and are an unsurpassed resource documenting these activities among the Gitskan. This rare, first-hand, ethnographic account of a potlatch reveals the wonderful complexities of the events that took place in Gitsegukla in 1945.

$39.95

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Sun Dancing
Authors:
Michael Hull
Format: Paperback
A powerful story of one man's redemption through the Lakota Sun Dance ceremony.• Written by the only white man to be confirmed as a Sundance Chief by traditional Lakota elders.• Includes forewords by prominent Lakota spiritual leaders Leonard Crow Dog, Charles Chipps, Mary Thunder, and Jamie Sams.The Sun Dance is the largest and most important ceremony in the Lakota spiritual tradition, the one that ensures the life of the people for another year. In 1988 Michael Hull was extended an invitation to join in a Sun Dance by Lakota elder Leonard Crow Dog-- a controversial action because Hull is white. This was the beginning of a spiritual journey that increasingly interwove the life of the author with the people, process, and elements of Lakota spirituality. On this journey on the Red Road, Michael Hull confronted firsthand the transformational power of Lakota spiritual practice and the deep ambivalence many Indians had about opening their ceremonies to a white man. Sun Dancing presents a profound look at the elements of traditional Lakota ceremonial practice and the ways in which ceremony is regarded as life-giving by the Lakota. Through his commitment to following the Red Road, Michael Hull gradually won acceptance in a community that has rejected other attempts by white America to absorb its spiritual practices, leading to the extraordinary step of his confirmation as a Sun Dance Chief by Leonard Crow Dog and other Lakota spiritual leaders.
$24.95

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