The Past in Narrative

Janet Hoskins

in The Play of Time

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520080034
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919136 | DOI:
The Past in Narrative

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The creation of the calendar at a consensus meeting of the ancestors provides the narrative frame that orients, to a certain extent, all Kodi storytelling about the past. All accounts of how crucial social institutions came into being are in some way related to the structure of the sea worm festivities and the divisions of the year. Knowledge of the calendar is focused on a few important ritual centers, invested in named religious officers, and seen as something of a “native science.” This chapter reconstructs that shared storyline through the presentation and analysis of seven different texts. Kodi thinking about the past is expressed not only in narratives, but also in exchange valuables, the architecture of villages and gardens, the names of places, and movement through the landscape.

Keywords: creation; calendar; Kodi; sea worm; architecture; villages; gardens

Chapter.  16513 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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