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Upper Perené Arawak Narratives of History, Landscape, and Ritual

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Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The rich storytelling traditions of the Alto Peren Arawaks of eastern Peru are showcased in this bilingual collection of traditional narratives, ethnographic accounts, women's autobiographical stories, songs, chants, and ritual speeches. The Alto Peren speakers are located in the colonization frontier at the foot of the eastern Andes and the western fringe of the Amazonian jungle. Unfortunately, their language has a slim chance of surviving because only about three hundred fluent speakers remain. This volume collects and preserves the power and vitality of Alto Peren oral and linguistic traditions, as told by thirty members of the Native community.
Upper Peren Arawak Narratives of History, Landscape, and Ritual covers a range of themes in the Alto Peren oral tradition, through genres such as myths, folk tales, autobiographical accounts, and ethnographic texts about customs and rituals, as well as songs, chants, and oratory. Transcribed and translated by Elena Mihas, a specialist in Northern Kampa language varieties, and grounded in the actual performances of Alto Peren speakers, this collection makes these stories available in English for the first time. Each original text in Alto Peren is accompanied by an English translation, and each theme is introduced with an essay providing biographical, cultural, and linguistic information. This collection of oral literature is masterful and authoritative as well as entertaining and provocative, testifying to the power of Alto Peren storytelling.

ISBN-13: 9780803245372

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Publication Date: 12-01-2014

Pages: 488

Product Dimensions: 8.80h x 5.69w x 1.46d

Elena Mihas is a postdoctoral associate in anthropological linguistics at James Cook University in Australia.