The Four Hills of Life: Northern Arapaho Knowledge and Life Movement / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $19.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 43%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $19.95   
  • New (4) from $27.30   
  • Used (3) from $19.95   


For many generations the Northern Arapaho people thrived over a vast area of the North American Plains and Rocky Mountains. For more than a century they have lived on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The reservation, the fourth largest in the country, is surrounded by vast rural lands and has been largely ignored by outsiders. As a result, the Northern Arapahos have been in some ways more isolated from mainstream American society than most Native groups.
In The Four Hills of Life Jeffrey D. Anderson masterfully draws together many different aspects of the Northern Arapahos' world—myth, language, art, ritual, identity, and history—to offer a compelling picture of a culture that has endured and changed over time. Arapaho culture is seen dynamically through the ways that members of the community in the past and present experience their unique world in everyday life.
Anderson shows that Northern Arapaho unity and identity from the nineteenth century through today are derived less from political centralization than from a shared system of ritual practices. The heart of this system is a complex of rituals called the beyoowu'u ("all the lodges"), which includes the Offerings Lodge, now more commonly known as the Sun Dance—a ritual still central to Northern Arapaho life. According to Anderson, the beyoowu'u and other life transition ceremonies work together to mold time and experience for the Arapahos, a life movement that also helps create social identities and transmit vital cultural knowledge. Anderson also offers an in-depth study of the problems that Euro-American society continues to impose on reservation life and the empowered responses of the Northern Arapahos to these problems.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Western Historical Quarterly

“This is an extraordinarily rich book, one that should be read widely and returned to often by historians, anthropologists, and sociologists who desire to understand the complexity, coherence, and contradictions in the relationship between socio-historical forces and the symbolic representations that attempt to shape the impact and significance of those forces at the local level.”—Western Historical Quarterly

Montana: The Magazine of Western History

The Four Hills of Life is a formidable volume worthy of the attention of all students of American Indian history. On the small shelf of academic studies written on this tribe, it merits a place alongside the works of Alfred Kroeber and Loretta Fowler.”—Cary C. Collins, Montana: The Magazine of Western History

— Cary C. Collins

Denver Westerners Roundup - Wick Downing

"A remarkable work."—Wick Downing, Denver Westerners Roundup
Denver Westerners Roundup

"A remarkable work."—Wick Downing, Denver Westerners Roundup

— Wick Downing

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Jeffrey D. Anderson is an associate professor of anthropology at Colby College and the author of One Hundred Years of Old Man Sage: An Arapaho Life Story (Nebraska 2003).
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contemporary Arapaho Orthography
1 The Northern Arapahos 1
2 The Approach 26
3 Arapaho Persons and Relations 39
4 The Space and Time of Life Movement 91
5 Childhood 119
6 The Men's Age-Grade System 137
7 Old Age and the End of Life 162
8 Women and Life Movement 173
9 A Total View of Life Movement 185
10 Changes in Age Structure and Life Movement 199
11 Arapaho Knowledge 240
12 Euro-American Knowledge 274
13 Conclusion 322
Bibliography 333
Index 345
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)