"Ceremony" & "Wisdom Sits in Places"

"Ceremony" & "Wisdom Sits in Places" Essay example
Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
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Name: Course Name: Instructor: Date: "Ceremony" & "Wisdom Sits in Places" Question One In his book Wisdom Sits in Places, Keith Basso investigates how people in the Western Apache think about their geography. His urge to carry out this investigation grew out of suggestions by the chairman of the Whites Mountain Apache.


In this book, Basso also argues that places can be identified with sacred stories and ancestors. According to Basso (83), landscape connects sacred names and stories of ancestors to everyday life. He suggests that people tend to speak about strong place-names. Basso argues that place-names is not mere telling of stories but is adopted in Western Apache as a kind of shorthand during conversation. Using names enables individuals to remember about places and the story about them. In the book, Lola conversation serves as a perfect example of how places connect people to historical meanings. In the conversation, Lola explained “We didn't speak too much to her... that way she could travel in her mind... we gave her clear pictures with place-names. So her mind went to those places, standing in front of them as our ancestors did long ago. That way she could see what happened there long ago... perhaps (she could) hear our ancestors speaking'(83). This reveals the fact that place-names of Western Apache are firmly embedded in the historical and moral meaning or imagination. Basso believes that there exist reciprocal relationship between people and landscape by which people and communities get connected to voice of their ancestors. The author believes that place-names enable people to develop mental pictures and images of Western Apache or any other geographical location. ...
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