A Time Before Deception: Truth in Communication, Culture, and Ethics : Native Worldviews, Traditional Expression, Sacred Ecology

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Clear Light Publishers, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 244 pages
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"For the native, communication was merely the uttering or 'outering' -- the visible tip -- of a large but invisible world of meaning". (Thomas Cooper)

"This book documents the spirituality, self-respect, and downright common sense of people to whom communication was a release of stored energy and power". (Booklist)

"Here is a treasure of knowledge, insight and especially inspiration for all who have an interest in ethical 'authentic' communication". (Prof. L. Smith, Emmy-winning PBS producer)

"Cooper has penetrated deeply into native modes of communication and ethics, bringing back compelling moral perspectives". (Publishers Weekly)

What was the real significance of "war paint", of the rituals of shamans, of the mysterious communion with animals, plants, mountains, and wild waters? Looking beneath the surface of tribal communication, this book is the first to focus on the myriad forms of traditional expression that were the outward manifestation of a sophisticated ethical and spiritual ecology that existed for millennia before contact with European culture. Cooper describes practices of tribal cultures worldwide and examines the communication ethic of the Dine (Navajo) of northern Arizona and the Shuswap people of British Columbia. As this world of indigenous meaning opens to us, so does the possibility that these groups may have originated from higher -- not more "primitive" -- cultures. In an age when we find advertising deceptive, entertainment violent and meaningless, and politics laced with corruption, we can learn rules for living from the deeper, ethically grounded communication of Indigenous Peoples.

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Native Communication and Ethics
Early Communication
Indigenous Forms of Communication

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