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Mar 24, Richard Reese rated it it was amazing Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Shell, Safeway, the highway matrix — everyone knows these culturally significant features of our landscape. Less well Wisdom sits in places are the natural features of the land: Our landscape watched the mammoths roam, it watched the furious madness of civilization, and it will watch the manmade eyesores dissolve into ancient ruins.
Waking up in the civilized world each morning is a jolt — jets, sirens, the endless rumble of machines. Most of us live Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Shell, Safeway, the highway matrix — everyone knows these culturally significant features of our landscape. Most of us live amidst hordes of two-legged tumbleweeds, nameless strangers.
We are the people from nowhere, blown out of our ancestral homelands by the howling winds of ambition and misfortune. Our wild ancestors never lived here. Inhe began spending time in the Apache village of Cibecue, in Arizona. He discovered a culture that had deep roots in the land, and a way of living that was far from insane.
The Apache culture also had entrances to other realms. Many places on their land had names, and many of these named places were associated with stories, and many of these stories had ancient roots. Everyone in Cibecue knew the named places, and their stories.
The voices of the wild ancestors could be heard whenever the stories were told, and their words were always conveyed in the present tense.
The stories were a treasure of time-proven wisdom. They often provided moral messages that taught the virtues of honorable living, and the unpleasant rewards of poor choices. When people wandered off the good path, stories reminded them of where this would lead.
They helped people to live well. These experts would study languages, ceremonies, food production, clothing, spirituality, and so on — but they paid too little attention to the relationship between culture and place, because this notion was absent in their way of knowing. Often, the reports they published were missing essential components.
From toBasso worked on a project that blew his mind. The Anglo world had zero respect for sacred places when there was big money to be made. Elders took Basso to see these places, and record their stories.
He created a map that covered 45 square miles, and had locations with Apache place names. Ruth Patterson told Basso about her childhood in the s and s. In those days, families spent much time on the land, away from the village.
They herded cattle, tended crops, roasted agave, and hunted. As they moved about, parents taught their children about the land. They pointed out places, spoke their names, and told the stories of those places.
They wanted their children to be properly educated. Apaches used historic stories for healing purposes. Nothing could be more impolite than directly criticizing another person, expressing anger, or providing unrequested advice.
During a conversation, they would mention the names of places having stories that would be good for the wayward person to remember. Then, hopefully, he or she would reflect on the stories, understand their relevance, and make the changes needed to return to balance.
One time, three wise women sat with a woman who was too sad. The first wise woman spoke a sentence that mentioned a place name. Then the second mentioned another place. So did the third. She reflected on their meanings, and the clouds lifted.Wisdom Sits in Places is the name of a remarkable little book of linguistic ethnography about "landscape and language among the Western Apache." Written by rancher and professor Keith H.
Basso, who had spent decades working with this group of Apache before composing this opus, the book is easy to overlook: file under boring academic anthropology/5. Place may be the first of all concepts; it may be the oldest of all words."--N. Scott Momaday "In Wisdom Sits in Places Keith Basso lifts a veil on the most elemental poetry of human experience, which is the naming of the world.
Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache / Edition 1 This remarkable book introduces us to four unforgettable Apache people, each of whom offers a different take on the significance of places in their culture.5/5(1). Places tell stories and illuminate values and morals of a culture "This earth is part of us!
We are of this place, Juniper Tree stands alone." (Basso 21) "As roundly ubiquitous as it is seemingly unremarkable, place-making is a universal tool of the historical imagination (Basso 5) The book in.
Notes on Wisdom sits in places 02/22/12 Preface on Book summary Based on Apache tribe Wanted to make maps that tie apache names to places and to record the 94%(16).
"In Wisdom Sits in Places Keith Basso lifts a veil on the most elemental poetry of human experience, which is the naming of the world. In so doing he invests his scholarship with that rarest of scholarly qualities: a sense of spiritual exploration/5(55).