Wisdom Sits in Places — Keith Basso

For Christmas, my auntie gave me Wisdom Sits in Places by KEITH BASSO. This is good because I know a fair amount about European languages, some about Asian languages but nothing at all about Native American languages.

A relatively short read, Wisdom Sits in Places discusses the language of the Western Apache and its relation to cultural stories which are steeped in geography.

More concerned with anthropology than linguistics, BASSO weaves a very compelling narrative of the development of this pretty fascinating culture.

At one point, there is an incredible passage, which copyright law probably prohibits me from typing up – it’s fairly long – in which a group of Apache have a very complex conversation in which there is a moral lesson, an expression of deep feelings, several sorrys and a healthy dose of comedy without ever using anything other than place names.

Such is the language of the Western Apache.

Interested? Buy it here