By Robert Bringhurst
The Haida global is a misty archipelago 100 stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska. For 1000 years and extra prior to the Europeans got here, a good tradition flourished in those islands. The masterworks of classical Haida sculpture, now enshrined in lots of of the world's nice museums, diversity from beautiful tiny amulets to impressive large housepoles. Classical Haida literature is every piece as quite a few and superb. It extends from tiny jewels crafted by means of grasp songmakers to difficult mythic cycles lasting many hours.
The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the final nice Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the autumn of 1900 during the summer time of 1901. His Haida hosts and associates have been raised in a totally oral global the place the mythic and the non-public interpenetrate thoroughly. They joined forces with their customer, consciously making a nice treasury of Haida oral literature in written shape. Poet and linguist Robert Bringhurst has labored for a few years with those century-old manuscripts, that have waited previously for the vast acceptance they deserve.
Read or Download A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World PDF
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Additional info for A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World
He had one leg and one arm, and his head was half a head. He speared the coho that were swimming there and put them into his basket. indd 42 01/12/2010 2:54:51 PM c ha p t e r o n e : Goose Food The man unrolled his coho skin and put it on and swam in that direction. When the half-man speared him, he was unable to pull him in. The young man cut the spearhead from the spear, they say. » The younger man went up to him then, they say. » 240 «Yes,» he said. And the young man gave him the one he had.
And Mouse Woman said to him, «You know what to do when you wear it. indd 40 01/12/2010 2:54:50 PM c ha pt e r o n e : Goose Food H e set out again on the trail. After walking awhile, he heard someone grunting and straining. He went there. 3 ] 180 A woman was hoisting a pile of stones. The cedar-limb line she was using kept slipping. He watched her awhile and then he went up to her. » The woman replied, «They told me to hold up the mountains of the Islands on the Boundary between Worlds. » 190 He made splices with the cord.
Her voice had big round eyes. After she’d offered him something to eat, Mouse Woman said to him, «When I was bringing a bit of a cranberry back from my berry patch, you helped me. » She brought out a box. She pulled out four more boxes within boxes. In the innermost box was the skin of a mouse with small bent claws. » 160 170 Small though it was, he got into it. It was easy. He went up the wall and into the roof of the house. And Mouse Woman said to him, «You know what to do when you wear it. indd 40 01/12/2010 2:54:50 PM c ha pt e r o n e : Goose Food H e set out again on the trail.
A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst