Being in being: the collected works of Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay

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University of Nebraska Press, 2001 - Art - 397 pages
Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay may have been one of the greatest Native storytellers of all time. Born in the Haida village of Qquuna about 1827 and crippled by an injury in middle age, he devoted himself to the art of telling stories. As the Haidas' older way of life changed dramatically under the onslaught of smallpox epidemics and contact with the outside world, Skaay became the undisputed master storyteller among them. When the young American linguist John Swanton arrived in the fall of 1900 to record Haida myths, poems, and oral histories, Skaay dictated to him some of his best stories.

Included in this volume are three of Skaay's masterpieces, recorded originally by John Swanton and edited and translated by Robert Bringhurst: "The Qquuna Cycle" is the longest extant work of Haida poetry and one of the great monuments of Native American literature; "Raven Travelling" is the most complex trickster story ever recorded on the Northwest Coast; and "The Qquuna Qiighawaay" is the brief and poignant story of Skaay's maternal lineage.

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Being in being: the collected works of Skaay of the Qquuna Qiighawaay

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This third volume in a trilogy of Haida myth and story can be read independently, though the first (A Story as Sharp as a Knife) also contains historical and cultural information not included in the ... Read full review


Translators Acknowledgements
Third Trilogy
Spirit Being Going Naked

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About the author (2001)

Robert Bringhurst is the author of A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (Nebraska 2000) and the translator of Nine Visits to the Mythworld: Ghandl of the Qayahl Llaanas (Nebraska 2000).