Indi'n Humor: Bicultural Play in Native America

Overview

Drawing upon history, psychology, folklore, linguistics, anthropology, and the arts, this book challenges "wooden Indian" stereotypes to redefine negative attitudes and humorless approaches to Native American peoples. Moving from tribal culture to interethnic literature, Lincoln covers the traditional Trickster of origin myths, historical ironies, Euroamericans "playing Indian," feminist Indian humor at home, contemporary painters and playwrights reinventing Coyote, popular mixed-blood music and Red English, and ...

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Overview

Drawing upon history, psychology, folklore, linguistics, anthropology, and the arts, this book challenges "wooden Indian" stereotypes to redefine negative attitudes and humorless approaches to Native American peoples. Moving from tribal culture to interethnic literature, Lincoln covers the traditional Trickster of origin myths, historical ironies, Euroamericans "playing Indian," feminist Indian humor at home, contemporary painters and playwrights reinventing Coyote, popular mixed-blood music and Red English, and three Native American novelists, Louise Erdrich, James Welch, and N. Scott Momaday. Indi'n Humor documents and interprets the contexts of laughter among Native Americans, as they see and are seen by the rest of the world. The study comes to focus comically on the poets, visual artists, playwrights, and novelists who make up the cultural renaissance of the past twenty years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An impressive work that covers an area long neglected by scholars....It will, without doubt, become the defining treatise on the subject for many decades to come....This study will take its place among the major works in cultural and humor studies."—Choice

"Lincoln has covered the waterfront—several waterfronts—in putting together this comprehensive and exhaustive study of Indian humor. Far beyond a joke book or cultural exposition, this is a fine work to be read carefully—and many times-for its insightful display of the various kinds of Indian humor and satire."—Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins

"Indi'n Humor is a major contribution both to contemporary cultural studies and to our understanding of Native American cultures and their peoples. A pioneering study, Indi'n Humor analyzes for the first time the five hundred year-old tradition of the intercultural genres of comedy peculiarly "Indian." This germinal study challenges American stereotypes of the Native American as passive, vanquished, sad victim. Impressive in its range, compelling in the subtlety of its analysis, this book is a major contribution to literary criticism, and to Native American studies."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

"This book is wondrous. Lincoln identifies and traces various aspects of the American Indian comic spirit by calling together multiple traditions and cultures as well as his own experiences and insights among Indian people. His innovative style and refreshingly clear prose make his study a sheer delight."—Greg Sarris, University of California, Los Angeles

"A masterful and entertaining study....Singular in its field, ndi'n Humor offers a fund of sources and scholarship, and is a model for further ethnic and multidisciplinary studies. It's a bold and witty book."—Western American Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195068870
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

University of California at Los Angeles
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Table of Contents

(Pre)amble 3
1 Red/White American 21
2 Historical Slippage 58
3 Playing Indian 89
4 Old Tricks, New Twists 120
5 Feminist Indi'ns 171
6 "Bring Her Home": Louise Erdrich 205
7 Red Gods, Blue Humors: James Welch 254
8 Comic Accommodations: Momaday and Norman 280
Coda 309
Appendix A: Reservation Jokes 315
Appendix B: Teaching Indi'n Humor 323
Appendix C: Interview with Hanay Geiogamah 326
Notes 339
Selected Bibliography 351
Humor and Joking of the American Indian: A Bibliography 374
Index 377
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