Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Native Studies

Stories from Quechan Oral Literature

Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Native Studies

Stories from Quechan Oral Literature

Article excerpt

A. M. Halpem and Amy Miller (eds.), Stories from Quechan Oral Literature. Cambridge, U.K.: Open Book Publishers, 2014. 533 pages. ISBN 978-1909254-85-5. £17.95 paperback.

Dr. Amy Miller has produced an extraordinary and elegantly positioned glimpse into the heart and soul of the Quechan Tribe - my family. Her work continues the life-long passion of A.M. Halpem and this book serves as a testament to the powerful ideas of authenticity and raw perseverance.

The text's dual language Quechan/English framework provides the reader a carefully-formatted path illuminating the elders' vision of life, death, and continuance of the soul. Miller treats these extremely private moments of the Quechan with respect while giving unbiased accounts of the powerful complexities compiled by the elders.

Rosita Carr's story of Puk Atsé is a familiar story told by my mom Sheila (Carr) Palone many times in our home. A full-blood Quechan Native, my mom translated the story of Kwayúu for us for many years. Miller and Halpern compiled the works of three tribal elders telling the classic Quechan story of the Roadrunner's quest to deliver important information for the tribe. Although her version is well placed and fairly compiled, Miller misses the mark slightly by suggesting "the narratives in this chapter tell about Kwayúu from three radically different perspectives." On the contrary, the stories share a common ancient Quechan meaning and are appropriately delivered through the eyes of each respected elder. …

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