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Ceremony & Wisdom Sits in Places - Essay Example

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Ceremony & Wisdom Sits in Places

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. ...
For instance, when an individual makes a mistake in the society, he/she is brought to a landscape that was named after an event occurred. Consequently, this would help remind the person who has committed mistake of the important morals of that event, which they can apply them to their lives. Basso argues that place naming is critical on the grounds that landscape is an instrument in human living. Names of places or geographical features such as mountain are used when teaching people about moral values because they are believed to be sacred. A Mountain is sacred because it is a hub of most natural resources. Western Apache have a close relationship with geographical features especially land because of the belief that land should be taken care of in order to improve the lives of people (90). Even though the book has had significance meaning to human life, it has certain shortcomings. Martin Ball is one of the scholars who sharply criticised Basso’s book Wisdom Sits in Places. Ball argues that Basso failed to represent the emic Western Apache view of places. He did not write directly on sacred lands in the Western Apache as the way they are being dealt with today. Basso also failed to include geographical locations where certain spiritual events occurred. Basso knew that Western Apaches would claim that these landscapes are sacred. As such, this claim is distinct from considerations of a sacred landscape connected to certain group of people in Western Apache (100). Question Two Tayo is the main character in Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel, Ceremony. Having returned from World War II, Tayo must cope up with life and come to terms with himself. As Silko indicates, Tayo is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder that has had far-reaching negative effects on his ...Show more
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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…
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