Old John Neptune and Other Maine Indian Shamans (Fannie Hardy Eckstorm) pdf, epub, doc

Penobscot Chief Old John Neptune is a larger-than-life character, and a proper telling of his story would be a riveting narrative—ambition, courtroom drama, sex & scandal, wilderness adventure, crime and retribution—not to mention magic, and the Old Governor's reputed victory over a rival wizard in a shape-shifting duel. Sadly, what has come down to us (or has been painstakingly collected by Fannie Eckstorm) is fragmentary and contradictory. So Eckstorm gives us the next best thing: a discerning historian and linguist's partial reconstruction, carefully laying out the evidence about various episodes and offering plausible hypotheses. So while the book fails to satisfy as storytelling (except in bits and pieces), it is an admirable piece of scholarly detective work. For those who love H.D. Thoreau, it is also fun to see how the wilderness travel writer entered at stage left and accidentally—in spite of his ignorance about the esoteric traditions of the tribe and the details of the schism that lay behind what he recognized as the Penobscots' peculiar passion for "politics"—left valuable testimony that can help reconstruct the early nineteenth century history of the tribe.

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  • Author:
  • Publisher:The Southworth-Anthoensen Press
  • File: 5.6 Mb
  • Pages 209
  • Rating: 3.7 (1 votes)

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