AISpaper#2 - Cassie Fenley AIS 200 Research paper #2...

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Cassie Fenley AIS 200 Research paper #2 2/4/2008 Response Paper #2: Wisdom, Place, Religion and Medicine Recently in class we have learned about more of the spiritual side of American Indian cultures. I enjoy learning about this side of their cultures because each tribe has specific things about them that make each of them unique. We first read about different landscapes and language of a Western Apache tribe in the book, Wisdom Sits in Places , written by Keith H. Basso. Basso writes about sacred words and places and his experience living with a Western Apache tribe. We also read about American Indian medicine ways and their religious and spiritual beliefs in the book, Creek Indian Medicine Ways written by David Lewis. Lewis writes about his life as a medicine man and discusses his ways of traditional medicine. I found both of these books to be very informative and interesting. Learning about the history of these American Indian tribes and how there knowledge is passed on is very important and it has showed me a new way of looking at life. After reading Wisdom Sits in Places , I had a better understanding of the importance of “place.” Basso writes, “much is contained in Apache place-names, preserving as they do both the words of ancestors and their graphic impressions of an
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unfamiliar land” (p. 13). The Apache tribe that Basso was studying used interesting and detailed descriptions of objects to name a place. For example, one place was named: Water Lies With Mud in an Open Container. It is almost as though they made pictures of these places with their words. It makes it easy for someone to think about the place being described to them because the names have certain meanings. I found this extremely interesting because we have nothing like this where I live. The names of buildings and places that I am used to have little historical background, and usually don’t have much meaning behind them. The Western Apache tribe that Basso lived with told stories that explained the
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AISpaper#2 - Cassie Fenley AIS 200 Research paper #2...

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