Ants and Orioles: Showing the Art of Pima Poetry
During Pima social dances, men and women join hands and stomp throughout the night to the rhythm of Ant songs and Oriole songs performed by specialized singers. While these songs provide the substance of Native American poetry, until now no one has asked how these songs - and others - form a Native American poetic tradition, nor has anyone asked what makes some of these poems good. Donald Bahr spent more than twenty years working with Pima singers in southern Arizona investigating these questions. Ants and Orioles presents translations of two singers' performances, "beautiful, provocative, condensed, disciplined tellings of things" learned from spirit-persons in dreams. A subtle yet bold endeavor, Ants and Orioles will appeal to anyone interested in poetry or modes of textuality in other world cultures.
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