This Is What They Say

Stories by Francois Mandeville

Francois Mandeville
Translated by Ron Scollon
Foreword by Robert Bringhurst

  • $30.00s paperback (9780295989334) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2009
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 288 pp., 10 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Contents

2010 American Book Award Winner

Chipewyan is one of the many Northern Athapaskan languages spoken in Alaska and western Canada. Mandeville's story cycle is a rich picture of traditional life and thought in the Northern Athapaskan world
Francois Mandeville was a master storyteller born at Fort Resolution in the Northwest Territories in 1878. Fifty years later, at Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, he dictated a book of stories to a young and very talented Chinese linguist, Li Fang-kuei, who wrote them down in the Chipewyan language. Ron Scollon , former professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, first translated these stories in the 1970s after studying with Li, and returns to them here after a lifetime of work and serious play among the mysteries of human language.

"You can read these stories for their gritty amorality balanced with etiquette, their fierce hunger and generosity, and their sudden senseless death. The tips on hunting, trapping, and tricking. The unvarnished tales of a tough people in a tough land. This is an invaluable book on how to be and not to be: on work and dedication, on the inner life of scholarship, and on life and death in the Old Ways."
-Gary Snyder
Foreword by Robert Bringhurst

Translator's Preface

PART I: The Stories
1. How Copper Was Discovered
2. How Iron Was Discovered
3. Raven Head
4. His Grandmother Raised Him
5. Scabby
6. Old Axe - Story One
7. Old Axe - Story Two
8. The Cannibal
9. The Man Who Hibernated with a Bear
10. The Adventures of Beaulieu
11. The Man Who Became a Wolf
12. The Cheating Gambler
13. The Flight of the Last Dogribs
14. The Shaman of the Yellowknives
15. The Wise Man - Story One
16. The wise Man - Story Two

PART II: Elicited Accounts
17. Education
18. About Fish
19. How I Made a Canoe
20. How I Tanned a Moose Hide
21. How I Hunted Beaver

PART III - Commentary
The Narrative Ethnography of Francois Mandeville

Appendix: Four States of an Oral Text