Wisdom Sits in Places. Notes on a Western Apache landscape. Keith H. Basso. Place is the first of all beings, since everything that exists is in a place and. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. Keith H. Basso. Albuquerque University of New Mexico Press. Basso, Keith H-Wisdom sits in places _ landscape and language among the Western Apache-University of New Mexico Press ().pdf - Ebook download as.
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Wisdom Sits in Places. several miles from their homes at Cibecue. The heat of the afternoon was still intense, and as the men waited for it to subside, their. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology ethnographic background of the region and a commentary section consisting of several chapters sensitively introducing. pdf. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache Wisdom Sits in Places investigates how the Western Apache think and .
E Imagining: B Spaces: E Ideas. J Apaches: E Tradition. W Rhetoric. B Ethics.
Human constructions par excellence, places consist in what gets made of them—in anything and everything they are taken to be—and their disembodied voices, immanent though inaudible, are merely those of people speaking silently to themselves.
More specifically, my concern is to highlight why the above philosophical characterization, when applied to an Apache sense of place, is highly problematic in relation to spiritual and religious experience and practice in Apache cultures. I hope to show that when considered carefully, the above quote can be seen to be contrary to Apache understandings of sacred places and the role that they play in the development and continuation of Apache cultures.
The result is that Basso has superimposed a philosophical framework upon a culture that does not necessarily share such an understanding of subject and object. To flesh out this critique I will present cultural material [End Page ] from the Mescalero Apaches and their Mountain Spirit tradition, which I feel presents a strong opposition to many of the ideas expressed by Basso.
My aim is to show that Basso is describing an ontology and epistemology that is decidedly non-Apache and therefore is an unsuitable framework in which to contain his presentation on Western Apache sense of place. From the outset it should be made clear that I am not critiquing the descriptive and ethnographic content of Basso's work.
Rather, my concern here is with Basso's philosophical speculations, which are primarily found at the conclusion of the work. Presenting a challenge to these ideas does not necessarily directly pertain to the details of Basso's ethnography.
In fact, one could argue that Basso's ethnography could stand on its own without the philosophical framework that he provides.
However, given that the philosophical content is related to Basso's ultimate interpretation and explanation of the ethnography, it is highly significant. What I hope will become clear in the course of this essay is that in some sense Basso's philosophical choices are somewhat arbitrary. You must learn their names.
You must remember what happened at them long ago. You must think about it and keep on thinking about it. Then your mind will become smoother and smoother.
Then you will see danger before it happens. You will walk a long way and live a long time. You will be wise.
People will respect you. Dudley goes on to say that to be able to make these connections between places, events, and names you have to think in a certain way, to be able to be wise you have to have a smooth mind, a steady mind, a resilient mind. This capacity for prescient thinking is produced and sustained by three mental conditions, described in Apache as bIni' godilkooh smoothness of mind , bIni' gontl'iz resilience of mind , and bIni' gonldzil steadiness of mind.
Because none of these conditions is given at birth, each must be cultivated in a conscientious manner by acquiring relevant bodies of knowledge and applying them critically to the workings of one's mind.
Knowledge of places and their cultural significance is crucial in this regard because it illustrates with numerous examples the mental conditions needed for wisdom as well as the practical advantages that wisdom confers on persons who possess it.
Contained in stories attributed to the "ancestors" nowhizaye , knowledge of places thus embodies an unformalized model of 'igoyq'i and an authoritative rationale for seeking to attain it. Although some Apache people embrace this knowledge eagerly and commit it to memory in exhaustive detail, others are less successful; and while some are able to apply it productively to their minds, many experience difficulty.
Consequently, in any Apache community at any point in time, wisdom is present in varying degrees, and only a few persons are ever completely wise. By virtue of their unusual mental powers, wise men and women are able to foresee disaster, fend off misfortune, and avoid explosive conflicts with other persons.
For these and other reasons, they are highly respected and often live to be very old. Likened to water because of its life-sustaining properties, wisdom is viewed first and foremost as an instrument of survival. His published work is based in the field of anthropology and focussed on the Western Apache at Cibacue, Arizona.
Study Question What is the meaning of the phrase 'wisdom sits in places'? Your response? In suku Minangkabau, here in Indonesia have similiar proverb wisdom —where the earth stand on, there upheld the sky— wade [Tue 3 May , PM] said: Thanks for your comment. I am wondering about the the Indonesian proverb you quote.