Anthropological Papers, Numbers 75-80

Anthropological Papers, Numbers 75-80

Anthropological Papers, Numbers 75-80

Anthropological Papers, Numbers 75-80

Excerpt

The first part of this paper (pp. 124-159) is a type description of the Western Apache girl's puberty rite or na ih es as it is performed by a group of Apaches living at Cibecue on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.

Compared to the wealth of information we have concerning the ceremonial forms and beliefs of other Southern Athapascan tribes, very little is available on those of the Western Apache. In fact, only two trained ethnographers have published studies on the subject. Goodwin (1938) has presented a brief outline of the entire Western Apache religious system, and Kaut (Goodwin andKaut, 1954) has analyzed a nativistic movement. Detailed descriptions of ceremonies are completely lacking, and the present work is, I hope, a step toward the elimination of this deficiency.

In the second portion (pp. 160-170), I examine the symbolic content of na ih es in an effort to illustrate what it means to Apaches and how it educates the pubescent girl in the ways of adulthood. I also discuss some of the ways in which na ih es functions with regard to society at large. In this attempt at structural analysis, I make use of Kluckhohn's concepts of adjustive and adaptive response.

This report might never have been written had it not been for the interest and instruction of other people. In particular, I am deeply indebted to the late Dr. Clyde Kluckhohn, who first encouraged me to do fieldwork among the Western Apache. I am also grateful to Dr. Charles R. Kaut who introduced me to many people on the Fort Apache Reservation. In the actual writing, I profited greatly from the suggestions of Dr. Evon Z. Vogt. Valuable advice on the linguistic material was given to me by Dr. Richard Diebold, Jr. I also want to thank Symme Bernstein for the time and effort she spent preparing the illustrations.

For their cooperation, indulgence, and kindness I owe my greatest debt to the people of Cibecue, especially Dick and Don Cooley, Nashley Tessay (my interpreter), Teddy Peaches, and Nelson, Albert, Dewey, and Rose Lupe. Also, I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Helena Henry, Lillian and Sam Johnson, Melvin Kane, Dudley Patterson, George Gregg, Ernest Murphy, Roy Quay, Pedro Martinez, and Calvert Tessay.

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