The Zuni Enigma

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W. W. Norton & Company, Nov 1, 2001 - History - 318 pages
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Did a group of thirteenth-century Japanese merge with the people, language, and religion of the Zuni tribe? For many years, anthropologists have understood the Zuni in the American Southwest to occupy a special place in Native American culture and ethnography. Their language, religion, and blood type are startlingly different from all other tribes. Most puzzling, the Zuni appear to have much in common with the people of Japan. In a book with groundbreaking implications, Dr. Nancy Yaw Davis examines the evidence underscoring the Zuni enigma and suggests the circumstances that may have led Japanese on a religious quest--searching for the legendary "middle world" of Buddhism--across the Pacific to the American Southwest more than seven hundred years ago. 72 b/w illustrations, 17 maps. "A stunning and carefully supported argument that should stir useful discussion.... [An] exciting, groundbreaking work."--Booklist
 

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The Zuni enigma

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Davis, an independent anthropological researcher with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, has developed a bold and unorthodox theory to account for some of the cultural, linguistic, and ... Read full review

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A larger issue with her theory not mentioned yet, is that Japanese has changed tremendously in the time between the theorized Zuni contact (roughly 13th century) and today. Any similarity to Modern Japanese is coincidental, considering the two languages would have diverged over 700 years. A similarity to Classical Japanese would, however, be something to base a (wild) theory upon.  

Contents

Portrait of a Pueblo
3
Search for the Middle of the World
21
Links across the Desert
42
Coasts and Currents
60
Ships and Shoals
84
Teeth and Bones Blood and Disease
103
Chapter? Words and Wanderers
122
Cultural Consequences of Social Mergers
146
Kokko and Kami
168
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword Revisited
193
Afterword
213
Endnotes
217
Bibliography
267
Credits
295
Index
299
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About the author (2001)

Nancy Yaw Davis holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

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