Prophecy and Power among the Dogrib Indians

By June Helm | Go to book overview

Preface and Acknowledgments

I began to develop "Three Styles in the Practice of Prophecy" (part 1 of this volume) in 1986, but other scholarly enterprises and extraneous impediments intervened to prevent the next-to-final reworking of the draft manuscript until 1991. Only then did it occur to me that the addition of Ink'on (part 2) would by illustration buttress the summary assertions about Dogrib medicine power in my study of Dogrib prophecy. Even more, I came to realize that if I did not now make the effort to treat in some form the accounts of medicine power in my field notes, the data would most likely disappear. The two parts of this volume, then, are written in different styles and from different angles and with different intentions. Each part is relatively self-contained. But taken together they allow, I hope, an appreciation of Dogrib cultural style.

Nancy Oestreich Lurie and I worked together in three field seasons ( 1959, 1962, 1967) among the Dogribs and always shared the compiling of field notes as well as the pleasures and pains of fieldwork. Beryl C. Gillespie has shared her notes on the prophet movement from the perspective of the Dogrib community of Dettah. Robert Howten, who was with me coinvestigator under a National Science Foundation Research Grant ( 1970-74), provided not only linguistic data--his own speciality-- but also information on the activities of prophets at Rae. Under the NSF grant, Virginia Lawson, George Tharp, and Stanley Witkowski as linguistic field researchers among the Beaver, Slavey, and Bearlake Dene gleaned information about prophet activities and interests of those peoples. Early in the drafting of the prophet study, Jean-Guy Goulet and Earl Waugh provided information on the Alberta prophet movement and the ecumenical activities at Ste. Anne, respectively. Scott Rushforth and David M. Smith have stimulated my thinking about ink'on from their respective research vantage points of Fort Franklin and Fort Resolution. The National Museum of Canada and the University of Iowa supported several of my visits to the Dogribs.

-xii-

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Prophecy and Power among the Dogrib Indians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xii
  • Orthography xiv
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Three Styles in the Practice of Prophecy 5
  • 1 - Prelude to Prophecy 7
  • 2 - Message, Performance, and Persona 27
  • 3 - The Foundations of Prophecy 52
  • Part Two - Ink'On 73
  • 4 - One Man's Ink'On 75
  • 5 - Aspects of Ink'On 80
  • 6 - The Highest Men for Ink'On"" 101
  • 7 - Ink'On in Play and Legend 121
  • 8 - Vital Thomas: A Brief Autobiography 146
  • Appendix 155
  • Notes 158
  • References 164
  • Personal Name Index 169
  • In Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians *
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