Fienup-Riordan is renowned for her intelligent anthropological essays and for her close involvement with Yup'ik communities..[This] volume is remarkable because it presents not only an incredible variety of narratives, but also documents the wealth of oral narratives that one individual might possess. The book is a marvelous contribution to the study of Eskimo literature and oratory.
Stories Future Generationsby Paul John, Sophie Shield, Ann Fienup-Riordan
Before it was written, this book was spoken. For ten winter days in 1977, the orator Paul Johnwidely respected as a dean of Yup’ik elders, and recognized for his tireless advocacy of Yup’ik language and traditionsheld an audience of Yup’ik students rapt at Nelson Island High School, in southwest Alaska. Hour after hour he spoke to the
Before it was written, this book was spoken. For ten winter days in 1977, the orator Paul Johnwidely respected as a dean of Yup’ik elders, and recognized for his tireless advocacy of Yup’ik language and traditionsheld an audience of Yup’ik students rapt at Nelson Island High School, in southwest Alaska. Hour after hour he spoke to the young people, sharing life experiences and Yup’ik narratives, never repeating a tale. Now, more than a quarter-century after Paul John’s extraordinary performance, Sophie Shield’s translations and Ann Fienup-Riordan’s editing have brought his words back to life, and to a new audience. This book records one elder’s attempt to create a moral universe for future generations through stories about the special knowledge of the Yup’ik people.
Tales both authentically Yup’ik and marked by Paul John’s own unique innovations are presented in a bilingual edition, with Yup’ik and English text presented in facing pages. As Paul John says, "In this whole world, whoever we are, if people speak using their own language, they will be presenting their identity and it will be their strength."
- University of Washington Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Paul John was among the last to receive a traditional Yup'ik education, spending his childhood in the communal men's house, where he heard constant recitations of Yup'ik tales and personal experiences. In 2002 he received the Alaska Governor's Award as Distinguished Humanities Educator. Sophie Shield is an accomplished translator and educator working for the Bilingual Department of the Lower Kuskokwan School District in Bethel, Alaska. Ann Fienup-Riordan is an anthropologist and author of numerous books on the peoples of Alaska, including The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks, Agayuliyararput: Our Way of Making Prayer, and Freeze Frame: Alaska Eskimos in the Movies.
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