Syilx (Okanagan)

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Harry Robinson: Living by Stories: A Journey of Landscape and Memory
Harry Robinson
Wendy Wickwire
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Okanagan;
Following on two previous collections— Write It on Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller (1989) and Nature Power: In the Spirit of an Okanagan Storyteller (2004)—Living by Stories is the third volume of oral narratives by Okanagan storyteller Harry Robinson. This third collection documents how the arrival of whites forever altered the Salish cultural landscape.

Living by Stories includes a number of classic stories set in the “mythological age” about the trickster/transformer, Coyote, and his efforts to rid the world of bad people— spatla or “monsters,” but this new volume is more important for its presentation of historical narratives set in the more recent past. As with the mythological accounts, there is much chaos and conflict in these stories, mainly due to the arrival of new quasi-monsters—“SHAmas” (Whites)—who dispossess “Indians” of their lands and rights, impose new political and legal systems, and erect roads, rail lines, mines, farms, ranches and towns on the landscape.

With permission from Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire began recording Robinson's oral stories in 1977. Robinson took his role as a storyteller very seriously and worried about the survival of the oral tradition and his stories. “I’m going to disappear”, he told one reporter, “and there’ll be no more telling stories.”

Whenever I need to be reminded that language is magic and that stories can change the world, I go to Robinson.
- Thomas King

Additional Information
288 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Stories from Harry Robinson
Edited and compiled by Wendy Wickwire
Authentic Canadian Content

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