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This book, by one of the leading scholars in linguistic anthropology, concerns the verbal art of the Kuna Indians of San Blas, Panama. The author describes a rich and varied array of Kuna verbal practices, ranging from reporting, formal speechmaking and political oratory to chants and magical communication with the spirit world. This is a world in which all knowledge and information, from history and geography to the latest sport news from Panama City, is orally conceived, perceived and transmitted, and Joel Sherzer demonstrates how experience is shaped by these verbal discourses. This book represents the complete range of verbal performances in a single Native American society. These are transcribed in the original native language from tape recordings of actual events and translated into English. It is a significant contribution to theory, practice and method in anthropology, folklore and oral literature.
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