Feb13, 2019

Hi everyone,

It was beautiful to read your creative posts today.

According to syllabus we are supposed to read 71 pages from Basso’s “Wisdom Sits in Places”. Please note this is 71 pages from the pages marked on your pdf, so I think you would have to print out around 140 pages in case you print out full pages. But since some pages are only one sentence or paragraph long, my suggestion is to print two pages in one, so we cut less trees. Please do not come to class without your print or book.

As you all know, according to CUNY calendar next we don’t have class. So you have more time to work on this paper, please read it in a timely fashion and do not postpone writing it since there is so much material to cover in this book and I would like you to read it slowly and gradually and reflect on each chapter. This paper is due on Tuesday 10pm. You also have to comment on one post (minimum 70 words).

Our creative blog will be posted by Robin. Robin please email it to me by Tuesday midnight. Class responses to creative blog are due 8pm on Wednesday.

Also creative blog spreadsheet is updated.

Writing prompt for the first portion of “Wisdom sits in Places” by Basso:

What kind of information and insights place-names represent in western Apache culture? Describe at least three different aspects of what place-names symbolize. Please refrain from only listing the aspects (One paragraph each).

Following your answer to above question, I would like you to reflect and write on:

How is the concept of history and its particular manner of narration unique in western apache culture? To be more exact: how is storytelling, and voice of the place-maker incorporated in recounting history and how does this affect our understanding of places?

(200-500 words)


  1. The first of what place-names symbolize is accepting and respecting the ancestors and one’s culture. Native American culture is very keen on ancestors. “They made it for a reason. They spoke it first, a long time ago! He’s repeating the speech of our ancestors.” (10) Since the author did not want to waste time to learn how to pronounce a name, especially since it’s from an ancient ancestor, it is a sign of disrespect. The language, thus the people and culture, is seen as not important enough to care about. Why should the two Native Americans help the geographer if he can’t bother to spend a few minutes on pronunciation?

    The second of what place-names symbolize is that words hold weight and the reasons as to why words are spoken are more important. In each story, the names of each area is directly correlated to the lands of what it physically describes, yet each land has a history behind it. This is done by the stories told, especially in what happened to the area known as, “Shades of Shit”. Instead of accepting a short version of the story of, “Shades of Shit”, Charles begins to ponder as to why the story is what it is and he begins to expand on it. He starts explaining that it is within the ways of Native American culture to help one another when one has a lot to spare, how the neighbors were envious that they had little yield and thus were forced to ask for help when none was given to them. This explained why the area and its people were forced to defecate inside their homes and gives more meaning and a lesson as to what people should have done differently.

    The third of what place-names symbolize is that each place has a lesson or ideal as to what should be followed. The name, “Water lies in mud”, and it’s meaning behind the lesson is that in times of famine, simply inhabit areas around rivers, trying to find a source of fresh water so there is more plants and animals around it. “Snake’s water” and its lesson is to appreciate nature and to always follow the rules, never disobey orders. “Shades of shit” and its lesson is to follow the practices and to never be greedy and to always help out a fellow person when you have an abundance of anything, otherwise you’ll be stuffed and surrounded by your own greed.

    Storytelling is an effective tool to teach the history of an event of place, yet at the same time can explain the reason as to why it is important. Although one does not have documents about what has happened, stories are told down the generations of what happened. The place-maker’s job is to not only to tell what happened but also why it happened. These stories might not have been actual events, yet the words and lessons told of them will stay true to those who hear it.

    1. Robin Lee

      I agree with the conceptual ideas which you relate the symbolic nature of place-names to. The insight which you determine from close analysis of the dynamic which is present between Charles Henry, Keith Basso, and Morley Cromwell, helped shed light on the viewpoint of the Western Apache people regarding the significance of place-names and how significant the use is. I found your connections with the information that each place-name holds and the place-name itself to be substantiated well. Reading your response was very insightful and widened my view of the significance of place-names.

  2. In Wisdom Sits in Places is about how the different places that are being visited has its own name and story. I feel as if the writer is visiting different locations and is trying to discover the history behind it. Each location is represented by a name and also by a description. The description of the Kronberg castle, is described as a dark place and filled with castles and reminded him of Hamlet and his most favorite plays. Bohr, felt a sense of Shakespeare when he visited this castle. As they travel along their journey around the Appalachian Mountains, they come upon a place called “snakes water”. He feels that it’s been a long time that anyone has visited snakes water, he says rocks are empty and not have been sat on, for example as if the rocks are lying alone. In the Apache, he senses darkness and greed, it was a place no one wanted to go to and for whoever lived there wished they didn’t. The places and names symbolize a sense of history. Places located in the western Apaches don’t change physically. Indians men and women mostly experienced different landscapes mountains lakes, rivers and canyons. Location has altered people’s way of thinking. A piece of land is being symbolized through protection and it looks after people.
    Gad ‘O’ááhá (Juniper Tree Stands Alone), is described as a place of peace and harmony, its being compared to somewhere to raise a family. The story of Ellen is being told about how much she takes care of her children and husband. They would watch their cornfields most of the day and take care of them. they compared to taking care of their cornfields as they would take care of their children. I liked when she said “because of this you will grow strong and tall and give us much to eat. I am praying this will happen”. This quote really connected how she felt towards her family.
    Story telling is a way that we can all connect with people through telling our own personal stories or telling someone else’s story. Storytelling is a way to relive the past and experience how that person felt and gone through during the time. In Wisdom Sits in Places are stories based on culture and traditional characteristics. Locations that people have lived or visited felt emotions, such as sadness, happiness or anger. Referring back to those moments makes people feel like their living in the past again. Telling a story can bring back emotions for people such as music can too. Listening to older songs can bring back memories the same way locations do.

    1. I really like the way you connected the land as being symbolized through protection and how it looks after the people. I originally felt as if the people tried to protect and care for the land but your connection is true as well. Now that I think about it, people needed these lands, they needed the water to survive. Therefore the water/ the land protected and helped the people to survive. I really connected personally with your take on the the fact that older songs can bring back memories, which is the same way locations do. It helped me connect to some of the stories in a different way.

    2. I agree with Samantha’s idea that the author is visiting different places in order to learn the history behind the place-names. History seems to be a key symbol in the Apache culture. Family also plays an important role in their culture. I found it interesting to see how Samantha interpreted the place-name “Juniper Tree Stands Alone.” Going over other’s comments help to clarify things I accidently missed as I seemed to skip over the importance of the story of Ellen.

    3. I agree when you said that story telling is a way that we can connect with people. I felt that it also put me more in a realistic place reading the stories. For example, the part where there was no longer water at “Snake’s Water”, made me feel upset for them even though it occured in the past since the families were the ones who relied on it for the thirst.

  3. In Western Apache culture, it is typical to hear of the names of places or lands that symbolize an event or reflection of the location. In the reading, Wisdom Sits in Places by Keith Basso, a description of these places exposes a better understanding of the history of the Apache culture. The author quite clearly illustrates the landscapes of this place-names giving his readers an insight of how and why the land came to be the way it is now. Much of the information that the author offers through the text demonstrate how the ancestors identified the land. It is apparent that many features of the name have become symbols of culture and of the way it lives, therefore it shows that some representations of place-names are portrayed through time, physical, and purpose.
    With time, or the historical representation, the writer says, to the Apache people, what mattered most is where the events occurred and not when. They often bring up the question “what happened here?” when it comes to naming a territory and the author mentions another writer who enlightens the idea that history helps construct identity, but more specifically says, “the past shows us who we are by showing us where we have been”. For the Apache people it seems that the titles were for preserving the past and keeping a strong hold on its history so that the value of the land and its people in it could live on for generations to come.
    Other connected aspects that he discovers is the way the title of some spaces are based on the physical aspect of place-names and how they reflect on changes in the landscape. One example here is “Snake’s Water”. This story tells of a time where a specific space had a name given by the ancestors that later was renamed because of a change in the land. Other places adopted this manner and then soon became a way of distinguishing certain locations from others as well as telling about the space itself.
    Moving on to the symbolism of purpose, various places show the value of the land and what it offers them. In “Juniper Tree Stands Alone” the story describes how the land was rich with corn and so it gave the people means to survive and purpose to live there. They prayed that the corn would stay, and they would be forever grateful of the land for it. This characteristic also shows how the Apache people had great appreciation for nature and often gave dedication through naming it.
    The narration of the stories retold by the author gives a specific viewpoint to how all the information is presented to the readers. It seems to be that we as the reader are taking in these retold stories through a lens of our own. The topic of Western Apache Culture and its places sparks interest in the writer and because it does so, he goes forth and studies more on it. He leads us through his journey of discovering answers to why and how these people give special praise to their land and label them with unique names. This undeniably helps us learn more about the land. Through the travels he tells of different encounters he has with place-makers like Charles Henry, Nick Thompson, and other members of the community of Cibecue, narratives that tell the stories of the land help paint a picture of not just the landscape but heighten the overall understanding of places. To understand a place, is to understand its history of accumulating events and being able to retell what happened there. You can then shed light on why its name is its name and the wisdom or knowledge it holds. A perfect description of how the landscape of Western Apache should be viewed is “as a repository of distilled wisdom…a keeper of tradition”. That idea and point of view should be carried and applied to any given place.

  4. The western Apache culture is represented strongly through their use of place-names. The place-names give someone from the outside of this culture, such as Keith, an inside look at how these localities gained their names and the condition of the land in which it is named after.
    An important symbol of the place-names is family. Place-names date back to their ancestors which is mentioned many times though out the reading. Proper pronunciation is key as the author’s failure to pronounce an Apache place-name displayed a lack of respect. “If place-making is a way of constructing the past, a venerable means of doing human history, it is also a way of constructing social traditions and, in the process, personal and social identities (7).” It is evident the roots of the place-names give insight into their past and who they are today.
    Another symbol of place-names is survival. It is apparent how a place-name was given its title by picturing the land on which it stands or what it once looked like. On page 12, the author offers a scenario where a leader from the western Apache culture finds land, observes his surroundings and decides he must give this land a name in order to survive here.
    Lastly, the stronghold of these names symbolizes the story behind the place-names. This is seen on page 19 where they visit “Gad O’aaha” (Juniper Tree Stands Alone). The author states, “I cannot see a juniper tree, standing alone or otherwise, anywhere on the flat of Juniper Tree Stands Alone, a small but notable absence which prompts me to think that Charles may speak again about how this country has changed since his ancestors took it over (19)”. It is evident that there was once a lonely juniper tree on the flat, as stated by its given name, but since Charles’ ancestors took it over, it no longer stands.
    History is unique in the western Apache culture as it is the base to the formation of how a place acquired its name. Story-telling gives meaning to the localities that have changed over time and the voice of the place-maker can recount for what once stood in these places. By considering the different aspects place-names symbolize, the reader can gain a better understanding of the importance and history behind the place-names.

  5. One aspect of place-names which was explored would be descriptive place-names. These place-names were coined by the Western Apache ancestors when they first arrived to help create a way in which the Apache people could speak of the places they arrived at, making it clear and easy to remember what the place was. This is exemplified by “GOSHTL’ISH * TÚ BIL* SIKÁNÉ*!” (Water Lies with Mud in an Open Container). This place-name was coined as a way for the Western Apache ancestors and the generations to follow to know the place through a description of its land features while synonymously evoking the story behind the name. For this place, it was apparent it had not changed as many other places had, as Charles reached to the ground and picked up and squeezed mud, showing the water bleed from the mud. Through this example, it became abundantly clear that place-names which were descriptive in nature were utilized in an attempt for the ancestors and generations after to relive the event and paint a clear mental picture for those who would hear the place-name.

    Another aspect of place-names is the eponymous use for clans. These descriptive place-names would be utilized heavily to represent places which the people settled and made their own. The uniqueness of these said lands and that which characterized them became the way in which groups of people would refer to themselves. An example which makes this clear is that of the “Juniper Tree Stands Alone People.” These people were named after a descriptive place-name which hearkened to the ancestral origin story which was associated with it. This place became the home of these people who utilized the soil there to grow corn which would feed themselves and their families. With this place-name, one may find the connection between the place in which these people reside, as well as, the significance of the place in relation to their ancestors and their own survival.

    The 3rd aspect which is apparent through the utilization of place-names is connected to the memorial aspect of names, which were heavily related to the social life of the Western Apache. These names were bestowed upon places as a remembrance of a historical anecdotal story which held both benefits and problems due to the actions of those involved. These place-names serve as a reminder of the benefits in which the place provided or the problems which entailed. An example of this would be the “Shades of Shit,” which was a place in which the greed of one’s relatives due to them not sharing their surplus of corn led them to be forced to defecate in their shades, teaching them a valuable lesson regarding greed.

    The concept of history in accordance with place-names varies drastically from the way in which we use place-names. Through place-names, the Western Apache tell a story of their past ancestors, which molds the world of the past, making it tangible to those who hear the name, while simultaneously accentuating the significance of this past in relation to the present. This creation of world through place-names acts as a recollection of past times, acting as a reminder of the place’s significance, which is scarcely found in our viewpoint of places. Through the synonymous manner of place and story, history is retold and forged as intended by the ancestors, producing a differing understanding of the connection of the place-names to the earth.

    1. Hi Brandon,
      I agree that the descriptive nature of the Apache place names is influential on how we experience the places, either reading the transcription on the pages of “wisdom sits in places” or being Keith experiencing it firsthand. I also liked the way you analyzed “Juniper Tree Stands Alone People.” looking at the place and the people as one, instead of two different entities. We can learn so much about the places from these place-names and the ancestors who lived there. 

  6. In Western Apache culture, place-names have much unique symbolization. One thing it symbolizes is the changes in landscape. The environments appearance is different in the modern times in comparison to what it appeared like during their ancestral times. Place- names are of rich descriptive imagery. They represent & symbolize the places. The names can you tell you a story. The apache listeners are able to imagine how the places are or appear based on their names. One example is “Snakes Water”. Ancestors named it after water springs. It meant it had an abundance of water at one time. There were snakes on the rocks in the springs. Now “Snakes Water” is this dry inactive place. You can only see dry rocks. The name itself can show the differences of what the place used to be like and you can compare to what it is now.
    Place-names symbolize names of clans. Charles explained that the clan names were based on the place-names when the land was being settled. The “Juniper tree stands alone” for example is a place-name and also the name of a clan “that agreed to be known for the place where they first planted corn.” (21) Even if they lived in different places this is what they call themselves. A woman by the name of Ellen Josay Tessay who is the leader of her clan and spokesperson of the for the “Juniper tree stands alone” people is carefully tending to her corn and at one point responds “Yes, I’m looking after my children”. (22) This symbolizes an important connection between the people and place. It shows how much Ellen cared, respected and looked after the place/ culture.
    Place-names also represent historical events good and bad. They shed a light on cause and effect of wrongful social conduct. “Shades of shit” details a story of selfishness, greed, & lack of compassion which then leads to revenge. It is a dark story, but a story that teaches a lesson for the future. Place-names remind the people of how to live righteously. Kind of reminds me of the 10 commandments. God gave us the 10 commandments for guidance, so that we live good, peaceful & happy lives. I feel as if the Place-names represented a way to remind & guide the Apache people on how to conform, and live happy lives.
    Place-making is spoken in present tense, as if happening now. It allows for the listener to feel as if they are living during the time of the events. It’s a powerful way of telling a story. It makes you reflect on your life and how to do better. Storytelling & use of voice allows for a connection to the events that have taken place and to the nature/ land part of the story. The land and the language are used by the Apaches to manipulate conformity to acceptable behavior and the moral values they should follow.

    1. I agree with Jenise’s response in that place-names have much unique symbolization. All the points made here was valid in that it connects to the story well. It was clear to understand and relate to. I liked the line where she relates it to the 10 commandments and then ties it back to the story. Her three main points were justifiable in that she incorporated details from the story in her response.

    2. Jenise,
      The connections you made between the symbolism of the place-names and the stories of the Apache people showed me a different way of thinking and processing the whole reading. I must admit that I had to read those 2 chapters thoroughly and even more than once because the 3 aspects of what place-names symbolize did not stand out to me that easily. I found that we both mentioned the same stories but broke it down and picked it apart in sort of a different way. Nonetheless, it did seem that you understood the text enough to make clear connections which you perfectly showed through your response.

  7. In “Wisdom sits in places”, Author Baso takes us on his journey to create Apache maps with original Apache places and names. It was said that they have plenty of “whitemans maps” and that an Apache maps have never been done. Along his journey Baso experiences for himself, the under representation and struggles the Apache culture receives when he is unable to pronounce the Apache place-name. Thus he learns the lessons of how important the place-names are and why they should be spoken as the ancestors spoke them.

    When he encounters “Goshtl’ish Tu Bil Sakane, or Water Lies With Mud In An Open Container.” The Apaches used place-names as a way to speak of the land or describe where they have been and where they want to go. In an essence the place-names provide imagery or a way to create a picture of the place with words. “They made a picture of it with words. Now they could speak about it and remember it clearly and well.” (12) Charles then takes a handful of mud and squeezes it, revealing water dripping from the mud. The name water lies with the mud is a perfect description of the characteristics of the land beneath there feet.

    Place names can also represent “the place itself, just as it looked a long time ago, just as it looks today.”(13) We learn this when the group arrives at “Nadah Nch’ii’ Golgaiye (Bitter Agave Plain) as well as Tsee Naadadn’aha (scattered rocks stand erect).”(13) Baso writes that Charles talks about these places in an “eye-witness voice” describing the beauty of the bitter agave plain and the tall rocks as if they were the ancestors seeing this place for the first time.

    The sad reality of how places change overtime is seen when the group visits Bi Tue (snakes water). It is apparent that the water has dried out and weed have overgrown, even a Budweiser can was seen camouflaging into the earth with rust. Charles states “snakes water, as anyone can see it, is no longer the way it was when the ancestors saw it first and made it their own with words. This is a sad reality to a lot of places all over the world. Once a beautiful place now tainted and unrecognizable. This is where we learn place-names can represent “evidence of changes in the landscapes, showing clearly that certain localities do not present the appearance they did in former times.”(14)

    Using the voice of the place-maker is much different than your typical history book. Using this unique narration style makes learning about history more interesting and easier to imagine. Reading this first portion of “Wisdom sits in places” I felt as if I was standing with the group overseeing and understanding the mindset of the ancestors when they arrived there. This narration styles also strengthens the importance of the places they visit.

    1. I like that you brought up imagery because it’s definitely very significant and useful for story telling. It helps the listener or audience to imagine what is going on and for them to feel like they’re also there with the ancestors. I also liked that your brought up the place “Bitter Agave Plain” and when Charles was using an “eyewitness voice” because it focuses on how Charles is telling the story as if he’s imagining that they’re are there right now and the audience is watching them.

    2. What’s interesting is that the concept of dozens of years, humans can change the meaning of a place. In this case, as you stated, snakes water used to be a place where people were grateful and appreciated the land because it gave them a source of water, a necessity in order to survive. Yet, over time people forgot the meaning and the usefulness of this area as a, “Budweiser can was seen camouflaging into the earth with rust.” Showing that this place is now a place to throw out cans of alcohol, a sign of being too carefree and too involved in bad times, simply disrespecting what it’s original purpose used to be.

  8. The Apache gave names to the places of the Western Apache that reflected on their ancestors, the environment and based on their social lines. One aspect of what place-names symbolize is the importance that the ancestors wanted to leave behind based on the name. The ancestors named one of the places “Water Lies with Mud in an Open Container.” They wanted this name to reflect exactly what was found and seen upon their arrival. They found many unknown items in like plants that could be used as medicine and with our good resources to hunt. The environment was a important factor why they chose to settle down there. The name is treated with a lot of respect which is why if it is mispronounced it is taken as a for of insult.
    Another aspect that place-names may symbolize is the preservation of graphic impressions of the land that overtime differences of the appearances have occured from the former times. From this, inferences are drawn to conclude how it was possible and rating the climatic patterns a possibility. An example that is used is “Snakes water” where there is no longer water, it changes the way the names is described since the name has “water” included. Upon the occurrence this upsetted ancestors because they relied on the water just like other families.
    The names of the Apache social lines also known as clans, that are also the names of places. The leaders of “Juniper Tree Stands Alone People” wanted the name to reflect their clan so that they could be known for the place where they first planted corn. They wanted to give importance to the corn since the corn is what they depended on for nutrition. A Lot of apperception was also given to the corn since it was planted by their women.
    Storytelling incorporates with our understanding of places because it puts us there in a more realistic way since we cannot be there physically. It is used as a skill for us to actually feel emotions about a place. Keith H. Basso does this by incorporating what he saw and experienced when he was there from a perspective that is more modern from a perspective as a “foreigner.”

  9. In Wisdom Sits in Places, place-names hold importance because there is a connection to Western Apache culture. These place names give a description of the places that each contain a story. These place names give a better understanding of one’s past and culture especially for someone who is looking from the outside. Each landscape and scenery provide insight on how each land came to be and why they were given those names.
    Place-names symbolize the purpose. For example, at the place, “Juniper Tree Stands Alone,” the people had wandered all over the country to look for a good places to live in order for the to raise their family and be protected from enemies. One of the main purpose was for them to grow their corn. Coming across this land their families become strong from eating the corn they grew there. “Our corn draws life from this earth and we draw life
    from our corn. This earth is part of us! We are of this place, Juniper Tree
    Stands Alone” (21). By coming across this land, they have a deeper connection to the earth, it’s surroundings, and resources because it provided them a sense of home.
    Place-names symbolize to respect the culture and ancestors of the land. Proper pronunciation is very important because the author was seen and as having a lack of respect for the ancestors. “It’s disrespectful. Our ancestors made this name. They made
    it just as it is. They made it for a reason. They spoke it first, a long time
    ago! He’s repeating the speech of our ancestors. He doesn’t know that. Tell
    him he’s repeating the speech of our ancestors!” (10). Place names give an insight to the past and why it is significant because the ancestors came to the land and made the name for certain reasons.
    Lastly place-names symbolize that a lesson can always be learned. A lesson that can be learned from “Shades of Shit” is to not be greedy and to share with those who are close to you. Always extend your hand to help others because if you take in everything for yourself, it will turn against in some way. Also, a lesson that can be learned at “Snakes Place” is to not disrespect or disrupt the peace in nature because it can push out that same energy, which caused the place to be transformed drastically from a beautiful land to something that lost its life and beauty.
    Storytelling is useful in a way for us to get in touch with our past and helps us to connect with different people and cultures. It helps us to get a better understanding of history and significant events behind these place-names. It involves a connection to these events and stories and allows the reader or listener to walk through and feel like there at that given time. With the voice of the place maker, they tell us the purpose on why those place names were created and why certain events happened. It allows for the listener to feel as if they were living in that moment which makes it a powerful tool to utilize.

    1. I agree with all the points that are being made in this post. You clearly have an understanding of their culture, how important the relationship between the Apache and the lands were. Also the symbols that are being pointed out, allowed me to understand better that all these stories behind these place-names can be used as lessons to be learned, lessons that we can apply to our modern day to day life. Also we have the same view on the place maker, it makes us feel as if we are living the moment.

    2. I agree with with Samantha, i do believe that storytelling can be useful in different ways. One way is coming from different backgrounds and curious about where you came from. Then you start to listen to your great great grandma telling stories about her past, her culture and her ancestors and where she used to live and the names of the places. It can be be very exciting because you can feel more connected to her and your ancestors. You also get a better understanding of why you look the way you look or a better understanding of your family history and cultures.

  10. According to “Wisdom sits in Places” the western Apache culture was highly influenced by their lands and their very unique place-names they would choose for their lands. We are told by the author Keith H. Basso, that the ancestors of the Apaches would travel the lands looking for places suitable for them to live with their families, as they moved and crossed places they would give names to theses places that best fit the characteristics or events that occurred.
    Although the names were just to describe the places and to remember them by, some had a deeper meaning behind. The author and his crew start by introducing to us Water Lies With Mud In An Open Container, which just simply tells us how the early Apache people travelled all over finding this place that to them, seemed good to live. Offering plants that could be used for medicine, water that attracts animals for hunting, the Apache were excited to find this place, according to Charles, the place-maker. Because this location had helped them survive they felt the need to give it a name that would make them remember it. Charles ends explaining the origin of the place’s name by reaching down grabbing mud from the floor saying “Water and mud together, just as they were when our ancestors came here” (12)
    It seemed that while the Apaches were about constantly moving seeking for better places to live and survive, their spiritual beliefs also travelled with them everywhere and influenced their lives. Snakes’ Water was a spring that was found by the ancestors being protected by some snakes, which is where the name came from. These waters that helped them survive for some time began to go away, and dried up. The Apaches believed it was something they might have done to deserve that, some kind of punishment for disrespecting the Waters, wasting the water or not enough thanks to the Water itself. As we know the place-name was given by telling something about the place, this Snakes’ Water was one of many that told if the place was the same as when they named it or different.
    While some place-names were describing some positive things about the lands, there were others that would do the opposite and symbolized something dark and ugly. Like Shades of Shit which the name itself does not portrait something positive. A place that the Apache themselves said ”This is a bad place. It stinks with signs of our stinginess and greed” (27). Charles narrates the story of the Apaches once living in this area. Some people had more corn than others and did not want to share with the less fortunate ones, this caused a dispute between the people and they trapped the greedy ones to stay in the shades of their houses, forcing them to even defecate inside, making them sick from the smell and the scenes, until they agreed to share their corn. This gives a clear view that the Apache believed in punishment, and against not doing things correctly.
    Having the place-maker there to tell the history of the places and people, helps you to put yourself in that place as he is telling the story, also to change your point of view on some places once you get to know the real story behind it. It lets you understand and believe more in what he is saying, its a form of proof, even though he, himself couldn’t possibly prove it. The storytelling is a way to engage the reader and make them want more as they read along, it is a method that seems to work.

  11. In “Wisdom Sits in Places” by Basso, landscapes and language among the Western Apache delivers a strong message regarding human connections between place, identity, and origin in relation to the idea of place-name. Every place is associated with a story where ancestors create a moral message that allows the Western Apache to shape their beliefs, behaviors and identities. It is through this connection to the land that the Apache begin to define their understanding of their lives. The place-name “Snakes Water” describes what used to be a spring of water bubbling out of the rocks surrounded by snakes. It is not until the Apache leader calmly talks to the snakes that water becomes available. They create names based on a visual description of the location when they first see it.

    The Apache names for places connect them not only to their homeland but to their ancestors. They hear the descriptions and can imagine how different the land was compared to now. They see how their ancestors made good decisions in deciding to stay based on how they describe what they saw and experienced. In “Stalking with Stories”, focuses on sets of spoken texts that the Cibecue people say express themselves, their language and their places. For instance, the Western Apache see a deep connection between the land and the enforcement of morality. This enforcement of norms also occurs through language. An apparent simplicity of relationships to language and land will give way to deep concepts.

    In “Speaking with Names”, it shows how place-names are used in action to evoke lessons. The chapter focuses on a conversation among several Apache where Lola Machuse, a sixty-year-old female and others use place-names to explain to a younger woman, Louise, why her brother was foolish. The conversation shows that place-names are often used as a mild form of moral reprimand. Readers can sense story-telling to gain importance as to how history has evolved over time for the Apache tribe.

    1. I appreciate how you brought up the chapter Stalking with Stories. At first, it felt uncomfortable that the grandmother made the granddaughter feel bad for something as trivial as hair curlers as an outsider looking in. It felt like individualism was looked down upon. After learning the story and lesson, I can see why the granddaughter “shot” an arrow at her, not only for the well-being for her, but for the community so everyone could feel equal at the meeting.

  12. The Apache Narration on story-telling holds cultural values on the highest pedestal. Apache story telling is rooted in the specific place where the events have happened and as a collective group. Story-telling is so important to the culture, narration is a part of speech, with prayer and ordinary talk as the other definitive aspects. The stories are told in the present tense and have an ethereal tone supported by feelings of empathy, passionate emotion, and wisdom. No one person is apparent in the stories, and appreciation for the land is seen in the careful attention to detail in landscape, thought, and feelings illustrated in the stories.

    When naming a place, for example Juniper Tree Stands Alone, the readers informed the name is formed when the women plant and grow their corn. A place is named when something significant happens and when the land is seen as good for raising a family. Myth is one of the type of stories a narrator can tell. The Myth stories are formed to enlighten others and to explain how things began. All forms of story-telling provide information on what the land meant. The historical tale that happened at Coarse-Textured Rocks Lie Above in a Compact Cluster describes a story of sexual misconduct. The land provides a starting point for imagery but also plays a lead role in the story as the step-father is led to his demise. Although this place provides a grotesque and negative story, it serves its’ purpose to people as a life lesson.

    The names-places are the words of the ancestors, which make them sacred. Even though the landscape has changed at Snakes Water, and even though Charles who narrates the story cannot put an exact time of when the water dried up, there is no doubt that there were snakes and water there in the past. This is because the places never lie. One can conclude that the hope for the future generations will continue to grow and learn from the past, as well as creating new stories to tell and respect and care for the earth in general.
    The Apache naming system is unique compared to modern Western naming patterns. The Apache provide life to a place, as well as provide the land a voice, and a sense of unity that the land is felt by everyone and for everyone. Compared to naming a street or building for personal success or ownership, it lacks in imagery.

  13. In Wisdom Sits in Places, written by Keith Basso, an ethnographer-linguist. He began spending time in the Apache village of Cibecue, in Arizona. He found a culture that had profound roots in the land, and a method for living that was a long way from crazy. The Apache culture also had entrances to other realms. Many places on their land had names, and many of these named places were associated with stories, and many of these stories had ancient roots.
    The place names symbolized by what they see the first run through; the name is a visual portrayal of the physical scene of an area. For a considerable length of time areas were passed from age to age as a spot to accumulate sustenance, get water, great spots to develop nourishment, and so on. As they portrayed the area, they named the spot. One example given was Tliish Bi Tu’e or Snakes water and the author describes a scene of Cibecue Apache arriving at this location for the first time, probably thirsty, looking for water.
    The Apache names symbolized places that connect them not only to their homeland but to their ancestors. They hear the descriptions and can imagine how different the land was then versus as it is now; they see their ancestors made good decisions in deciding to stay based how they describe what they saw and experienced. Rather than desert that the Apaches see now, the names describes places that had more water, were good places of protection or good areas to grow crops.
    The significance of place for the Apache: conceptions of a place embody wisdom, morality, politeness, and tact Landscape is a reference point for affirming notions of personhood and social affiliation. The entire landscape is culturally fashioned and alive, filled with locations that evoke stories of the ancestors and allow people to come to know how to act in the contemporary world. They conveyed Through their place names and the Names for things describe, distinguish, and distill important information.
    how did storytelling, and voice of the place-maker incorporated in recounting history?. The Apache elders recount the stories of place names and link them with the past and present by first of all speaking in present tense, describing what the elders experienced so the listener is there, internalizing, and becoming a part of the story. Story telling is way to express and explain any story in details and excitment. Explaining a story the right way can get the listener or the reader to have almost the same experiece or feelings as the story-teller. Story telling specially by elders can be very convincing and get people to react a certain way and have some type of emotions reaction.

    1. The way you described in the beginning of your prompt when you said “The Apache culture also had entrances to other realms” made it seem more catch to read and also makes the reader more interested in what you’re describing. I liked the way you elaborated on the name of the places, stories to their ancient roots. I agree that storytelling told by elders can be convincing and get people to react differently through emotions and feelings.

  14. In the book “Wisdom Sits in Places” the author is given the task of creating a map of the Apache places and names with in the Cibecue are and in doing so learning how they are pronounce and the importance of the names. One aspect is name-place in which the author learns early on was it’s connection to apache history. To the Apache the pronunciation of name-place should be done correctly and respectfully because it was once spoken by their ancestors. When the author Keith H. Bass, after numbers attempts to pronounce the place-name Goshtl’ish
    Tú Bil Sikané which translates to Water Lies With Mud In An Open Container gives up and says that it didn’t matter of was taken rudely and upsetted his guide Charles .

    The second aspect of what place name symbolizes is it’s usage to describe a certain landscape or location. An Apache place-name describes such location as it was once seen by the ancestor that arrive there long ago. An example of this is Thiis*Bi Tùé’ which translates to Snakes Water. True to its name Keith guide Charles narratives a scene from long ago and describes the spring with many snakes.

    The third aspect of Apache place-name is the usage in historical tales which are stories told of incidents that happened a long time ago before white men come along. Many of these historical tales are used to teach a lesson to younger Apache generation or anyone thats seem so be on a path that is not their own. An example of this is when a young woman who returns from a boarding school to a Apache ceremony and is criticized for having curls instead on her natural straight long hair. The grandmother tells a story of an Apache policeman who behaved too much like a white man and in doing tells a lesson to be granddaughter.

    The unique narration of history recounted by the place-maker and storytelling gives us a different perspective of what has happened. It helps to imagine the history of not only the place but understand the system that was used when naming these places. In so making it more realistic to the one reading or hearing the story.

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