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By Arnold Krupat

The be aware "elegy" comes from the traditional Greek elogos, which means a mournful poem or music, particularly, a tune of grief according to loss. simply because mourning and memorialization are so deeply embedded within the human , all human societies have constructed skill for lamenting the lifeless, and, in "That the folks could Live" Arnold Krupat surveys the traditions of local American elegiac expression over numerous centuries.

Krupat covers various oral performances of loss and renewal, together with the Condolence Rites of the Iroquois and the memorial rite of the Tlingit humans often called koo'eex, analyzing to boot a couple of Ghost Dance songs, that have been reinterpreted in culturally particular methods via many various tribal countries. Krupat treats elegiac "farewell" speeches of the eighteenth and 19th centuries in massive aspect, and reviews on retrospective autobiographies through Black Hawk and Black Elk.

Among modern local writers, he seems at elegiac paintings by way of Linda Hogan, N. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, Sherman Alexie, Maurice Kenny, and Ralph Salisbury, between others. regardless of modifications of language and tradition, he unearths that loss of life and loss are constantly felt by means of local peoples either for my part and socially: an individual who had contributed to the People's health and wellbeing used to be now long gone. local American elegiac expression provided mourners comfort so they could conquer their grief and renew their will to maintain communal life.

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Have completed the ceremony” (78), they pass a string of black wampum back to the mourners they have consoled. It Oral Pe rform ances (i) 29 remains for the new chief to take the name and place of the one who has passed on, that the People might live. Considering this great ceremony, Hewitt, in “an unusual burst of enthusiasm,” as John Bierhorst notes, wrote: “The psychological insight of the framers of this wonderful ritualistic address is without question unsurpassed in any other composition of its kind in any other literature of the world” (qtd.

Opler could only learn a few lines of that “old man’s song”: When I was young, I took no heed; Old, old I have become! Because I knew that age would come To me, I took no heed. (471) Curiously, the heedlessness is said to come from the knowledge that old age would come, but there is no “reliving” the heedless time when the singer was young, and tears roll down the old man’s cheeks as he sings. 44 The “Farewell Song” is an example of an ethnic genre among the Havasupai known as “old men’s songs” (there are also “old women’s songs”), specifically “composed to express a deeply felt emotion” (Hinton 1994, 690).

The name is one; the bearers are many” (66; also Hewitt [1916] 1977, 165). 7 The Six Nations are divided into two moieties. 8 When a chief dies, a warrior of the bereaved moiety “spreads the news of the death throughout the League. Intoning the mourning call, ‘kwaa, kwaa, kwaa’,” he carries “invitation wampum to a member of the ‘clearminded’ moiety,” his Brothers across the fire (Woodbury xxxi). These “clearminded” (their minds are less clouded by grief ) or “unscathed” Brothers (relatively speaking—the loss affects all of the People) then “journey across the forest,” or “journey on the trail,” chanting “the Eulogy, or Roll Call, of the Founders of the League” (Fenton 1998, 137),9 and reciting all fifty of the chiefly names.

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