Mar 24, Richard Reese rated it it was amazing Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Shell, Safeway, the highway matrix — everyone knows these culturally significant features of our landscape. Less well known are the natural features of the land: Our landscape watched the mammoths roam, it watched the furious madness of civilization, and it will watch the manmade eyesores dissolve into ancient ruins. Waking up in the civilized world each morning is a jolt — jets, sirens, the endless rumble of machines.
Wisdom Sits in Places analyzes the relationship between geographical location, cultural symbolism and place-names in the language and linguistic practices of the Western Apache tribe located in Cibecue, Arizona. The author, Keith Basso, is an anthropologist and ethnographer who argues Wisdom sits in places the field of anthropology does not study the relationship place, language and culture.
Basso first visited Cibecue in when he was a student. After writing about the Western Apache in a scholarly setting, Basso became bored and so decided to visit the White Mountain Apache Tribe directly in order to make maps the tied Apache place-names to their geographical referents and to records the stories and symbols located with those stories.
In the process, Basso secured a grant from the NSF and spent eighteen months over five years between and with the Western Apache, making maps and taking notes. Wisdom Sits in Places is a short book, composed of four largely independent essays.
All focus on the main topic of the book, but they emphasize different points. Each essay also uses a particular member of the Apache Tribe in order to connect a story with the thesis of the essay, but the person differs from chapter to chapter.
Chapter one, "Quoting the Ancestors", emphasizes that places are not merely geographical but social. The historical imagination of a people creates "place" and modifies it over time.
Basso illustrates his point by appealing to his interactions with Charles Henry, a sixty-year-old herbalist who created place-words.
Most of chapter one has Basso working with Charles and his cousin Morley, traveling around Cibecue, with Charles and Morley giving Basso the information he needs about the places they visit. It also introduces the idea of a "place-name": Chapter two, "Stalking with Stories", focuses on how place-names are used in Western Apache society.
Because place-names associate places with different types of symbols they can be used evocatively to tell stories and make points. It reviews the different types of narratives in Western Apache culture and classifies them.
These points are illustrated through interaction with Nick Thompson, an elderly Apache. Chapter three, "Speaking with Names", shows how place-names are used in action to evoke lessons.
The chapter focuses on a conversation among several Apache where Lola Machuse, a sixty-year-old female and others use place-names to explain to a younger woman, Louise, why her brother was foolish. The conversation shows that place-names are often used as a mild form of moral reprimand.
Chapter four, "Wisdom Sits in Places", explores the Western Apache conception of wisdom, a virtue acquires by learning about the land and the history and symbolism associated with it. This practice of learning helps to produce a "smooth, steady and resilient" mind.
Wisdom "sits in places" because wisdom is acquired by means of knowing place.Thinking about places will make you wise. "Wisdom sits in places. It's like water that never dries up. You need to drink water to stay alive, dont you? Well, you also need to drink from places.
You must remember everything about them. you must learn their names. You must /5(1). Notes on Wisdom sits in places 02/22/12 Preface on Book summary Based on Apache tribe Wanted to make maps that tie apache names to places and to record the 93%(15).
Wisdom Sits in Places is the name of a remarkable little book of linguistic ethnography about "landscape and language among the Western Apache." Written by rancher and professor Keith H. Basso, who had spent decades working with this group of Apache before composing this opus, the book is easy to overlook: file under boring academic anthropology/5.
"In Wisdom Sits in Places Keith Basso lifts a veil on the most elemental poetry of human experience, which is the naming of the world. In so doing he invests his scholarship with that rarest of scholarly qualities: a sense of spiritual exploration/5(55). Wisdom "sits in places" because wisdom is acquired by means of knowing place.
In this chapter, Basso makes his points through his interactions with Dudley Patterson, Sam Endfield and Charles Cromwell, three older Apache men with whom he travels. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache Keith H. Basso’s Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache delivers a strong message regarding human connections between place, identity, and origins in relation to the idea of place-names.