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That the People Might LiveLoss and Renewal in Native American Elegy$
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Arnold Krupat

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451386

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451386.001.0001

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Oral Performances (I)

Oral Performances (I)

(p.19) 1 Oral Performances (I)
That the People Might Live

Arnold Krupat

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines a variety of Native American oral performances, beginning with the Condolence Rites of the Iroquois. The Rites of Condolence, performed upon the death of one of the fifty chiefs of the Iroquois League, include chants rehearsing the history of the League and conclude with the appointment of a replacement for the deceased chief. The chapter also considers the Tlingit koo.'eex' and goes on to discuss a number of more informal, occasional oral performances responding to loss, from several different Native nations. Finally, it explores songs of the religious resistance movement known as the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance songs constitute the first major genre of oral, elegiac expression in response to exile, but also serve as symbolic attempts at restoration.

Keywords:   oral performances, Iroquois League, Rites of Condolence, chants, Tlingit koo.'eex', loss, Ghost Dance songs, elegiac expression, exile, restoration

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