Boundaries and Passages: Rule and Ritual in Yup'ik Eskimo Oral Tradition

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University of Oklahoma Press, Sep 1, 1995 - Social Science - 416 pages
This book brings together as complete a record of traditional Yupik rules and rituals as is possible in the late twentieth century. Incorporating elders' recollections of the system of ruled boundaries and ritual passages that guided their parents and grandparents a century ago, Ann Fienup-Riordan brings into focus the complex, creative Yupik world view - expressed by ceremonial exchanges and the cycling of names, gifts, and persons - which continues to shape daily life in communities along the Bering Sea coast. Her analysis is illustrated with many contemporary and historical photographs. Identifying "metaphors to live by, " Fienup-Riordan tells of "the Boy Who Went to Live with Seals" and "the Girl Who Returned from the Dead." She explains how in Yupik cosmology their stories illustrate relationships among human beings, animals, and the spirit world - the "boundaries and passages" between death and the renewal of life.

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The Relationship between Humans and Animals
The Entry of Animals into the Human
Becoming a Real Person
The Relationship between Men
Boundaries and Passages of the Human Body
Death and the Renewal of Life
The Ringed Center
Living Spirits and the Souls of the Dead
Following the Universe

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About the author (1995)

Ann Fienup-Riordan is an independent scholar/anthologist. She was named Alaska History of the Year for The Real People and Children of Thunder: The Yup?ik Eskimo Encounter with Moravian Missionaries John and Edith Kilbuck, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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