Download e-book for kindle: A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers by Robert Bringhurst

By Robert Bringhurst

ISBN-10: 1553658906

ISBN-13: 9781553658900

The Haida international is a misty archipelago 100 stormy miles off the coasts of British Columbia and Alaska. For one thousand years and extra prior to the Europeans got here, an excellent tradition flourished in those islands. The masterworks of classical Haida sculpture, now enshrined in lots of of the world's nice museums, variety from beautiful tiny amulets to remarkable large housepoles. Classical Haida literature is every piece as a number of and nice. It extends from tiny jewels crafted via grasp songmakers to difficult mythic cycles lasting many hours.

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the final nice Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the autumn of 1900 during the summer time of 1901. His Haida hosts and associates were raised in a totally oral global the place the mythic and the private interpenetrate thoroughly. They joined forces with their customer, consciously making a nice treasury of Haida oral literature in written shape. Poet and linguist Robert Bringhurst has labored for a few years with those century-old manuscripts, that have waited beforehand for the extensive attractiveness they deserve.

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Additional info for A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World

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And it is part of a whole forest of themes and variations, echoes and allusions, spreading out through space and time. It is one piece of work ; it is also part of a fabric that is torn and patched, woven and unwoven day after day, night after night, and sentence after sentence, like the cloth on Penelope’s loom. indd 50 01/12/2010 2:54:51 PM 2 * Spoken Music T he poets portrayed in the Odyssey – Demodokos and Phemios – are singers. Ghandl’s poems were spoken, not chanted or sung, but they are musical in other important ways – so much so that I think his work deserves to be compared to European music as much as to European sculpture and painting.

On the following morning after breakfast, he said to his brothers-in-law, “Let us go and try which of us can shoot the best with the bow ! ” They made ready their bows and arrows and began to shoot at each other. The elder brother-in-law shot first, but One-Side jumped upward, and the arrow missed him. The second brother-in-law also shot. One-Side jumped aside and dodged the arrow. ” He shot once and hit his elder brother-in-law straight through the heart. With the second shot he killed his other brother-in-law.

He proved to be a good hunter, able to catch any kind of game. Still he had only one side, and with every breath his heart would jump out. They lived together for a while, and the woman brought forth a son. The young woman nursed the infant. But One-Side did not want to stay at home. He would wander about all the time and bring back reindeer and elk. They had so much meat that the storehouses would no longer hold it. He was a great hunter. He hunted on foot on snowshoes, for he had neither reindeer nor horses for traveling.

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst

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