The Fifth World of Forster Bennett: Portrait of a Navajo

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U of Nebraska Press, 2003 - Social Science - 245 pages
It is told that the ancestors of the Navajos journeyed through four worlds to reach the fifth, or present, one. The pressing complexities and underlying wonder of their fifth world of modern reservation life are portrayed in this classic ethnographic account by Vincent Crapanzano. As a young, inexperienced anthropologist, Crapanzano spent a summer with a Navajo man he calls Forster Bennett. In his fifties, Bennett was raised during the early reservation years, fought in the South Pacific in the Second World War, and, like many, carried a deep but not always openly expressed resentment toward whites. Crapanzano?s honest and gritty account of his time with Bennett and Bennett's community reveals a stark portrait of the ?flat, slow quality of reservation life,? where boredom and poverty coexist with age-old sacred rituals and the varying ways that Navajos react and adjust to changes in their culture.

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About the author (2003)

Vincent Crapanzano is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature at City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of several books, including Serving the Word: Literalism in America from the Pulpit to the Bench and Tuhami: Portrait of a Moroccan.

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