Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America

Spirits of Blood Spirits of Breath The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America Before invasion Turtle Island or North America was home to vibrant cultures that shared long standing philosophical precepts The most important and wide spread of these was the view of reality as a c

  • Title: Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America
  • Author: Barbara Alice Mann
  • ISBN: 9780199997190
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • Before invasion, Turtle Island or North America was home to vibrant cultures that shared long standing philosophical precepts The most important and wide spread of these was the view of reality as a collaborative binary known as the Twinned Cosmos of Blood and Breath This binary system was built on the belief that neither half of the cosmos can exist without its twin BoBefore invasion, Turtle Island or North America was home to vibrant cultures that shared long standing philosophical precepts The most important and wide spread of these was the view of reality as a collaborative binary known as the Twinned Cosmos of Blood and Breath This binary system was built on the belief that neither half of the cosmos can exist without its twin Both halves are, therefore, necessary and good Western anthropologists typically shorthand the Twinned Cosmos as Sky and Earth but this erroneously saddles it with Christian baggage and, worse, imposes a hierarchy that puts sky quite literally above earth None of this Western ideology legitimately applies to traditional Indigenous American thought, which is about equal cooperation and the continual recreation of reality.Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath examines traditional historical concepts of spirituality among North American Indians both at and, to the extent it can be determined, before contact In doing so, Barbara Alice Mann rescues the authentically indigenous ideas from Western, and especially missionary, interpretations In addition to early European source material, she uses Indian oral traditions, traced as much as possible to their earliest versions and sources, and Indian records, including pictographs, petroglyphs, bark books, and wampum Moreover, Mann respects each Indigenous culture as a discrete unit, rather than generalizing them as is often done in Western anthropology To this end, she collates material in accordance with actual historical, linguistic, and traditional linkages among the groups at hand, with traditions clearly identified by group and, where recorded, by speaker In this way she provides specialists and non specialists alike a window into the purportedly lost, and often caricatured, world of Indigenous American thought.

    One thought on “Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America”

    1. Overall, an interesting discussion of how contemporary American society has decided to pick and choose pieces of American Indian ceremony to use as their own (despite years of attempting to eradicate such traditions) without actually getting any of it right. Mann discusses the way in which the twinned cosmos worked in Indigenous America--everything came in sets, something that white-men-playing-sweat-lodge fail to understand. It is an interesting read and has very informative pieces, including n [...]

    2. This book expertly explains underlying aspects of a twin cosmos across many north american nations while unmasking elements of colonialism that have been imbricated into scholarship on American Indian religion. Thorough coverage of mythology and folklore with a special attention to under-emphasized perspectives of women / feminine (blood) in scholarship. I learned a lot.

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