Blessing for a Long Time
The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe
Robin Ridington and Dennis Hastings ingeniously adopt the conventions of Omaha oral narratives to tell the story and significance of the Sacred Pole. Portions of classic anthropological texts (particularly Fletcher and La Flesche's The Omaha Tribe), Omaha narratives, and other historical and contemporary accounts are repeated - each time in a different, more enlightening context - in a circle of stories seamlessly woven around Umon'hon'ti. The result is an innovative account that effortlessly glides between past and present. The distinct personality of Umon'hon'ti emerges and becomes the principal actor in the drama of its history and return. This unique blend of ethnography, ethnohistory, and Omaha poetics promises to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the religious life of Native Americans.
280 pp — ©1997