"The most important work in recent decades on the poetics of Native American oral traditions. . . . Hymes restores voice to oral texts that have been little more than museum pieces."—World Literature

"In vain I tried to tell you"
Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics

Dell Hymes

1981 | 416 pages | Cloth $79.95 | Paper $24.95
Native American Studies
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Table of Contents

Tables
Introduction
Ethnological Note
Orthographic Note

PART ONE. UNSUSPECTED DEVICES AND DESIGNS
1 Some North Pacific Coast Poems: A Problem in Anthropological Philology
2 How to Talk Like a Bear in Takelma

PART TWO. BREAKTHROUGH TO PERFORMANCE
3 Breakthrough into Performance
4 Louis Simpson's "The Deserted Boy"
5 Verse Analysis of a Wasco Text: Hiram Smith's "At'unaqa"
6 Breakthrough into Performance Revisited

PART THREE. TITLES, NAMES, AND NATURES
7 Myth and Tale Titles of the Lower Chinook
8 The "Wife" Who "Goes Out" Like a Man: Reinterpretation of a Clackamas Chinook Myth
9 Discovering Oral Performance and Measured Verse in American Indian Narrative
10 Reading Clackamas Texts
Epilog

Index to Analyzed Translations and English-Language Texts
Bibliography
Index