Book Review: Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache
In Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache, anthropologist Keith H. Basso takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the rich inventory of placenames surrounding the town of Cibecue, Arizona. By delving into the landscape and the Apache language, Basso unveils the deep connections between place, wisdom, and morality among the Western Apache.
Basso’s work is an exemplary piece of linguistic anthropology, as well as an engaging account of the Apache’s philosophical vision of place. The book is composed of four tightly linked essays in which Basso examines the role of place-names in Apache culture. By analyzing the significance of these names, Basso demonstrates the importance of place in shaping Apache history, identity, values, and morality.
The book is filled with stories and commentary from Apache informants, providing a generous corpus of data for reflection on what may seem to be an unimportant nomenclature. Basso’s work shines a light on the fundamental relationship between language and place, emphasizing the power of names to shape individual and cultural experiences.
Wisdom Sits in Places is not only a valuable contribution to anthropological studies of place and location but also provides a sensitive perspective on the Apaches’ understanding of themselves. The book is accessible to undergraduate readers and available in paperback, making it an essential resource for teachers of linguistic anthropology.
Overall, Wisdom Sits in Places is a remarkable book that offers a unique and profound insight into the world of the Western Apache. It is an important work that will likely be regarded as a classic of creative ethnographic representation.
Basso, K. H. (1996). Wisdom sits in places: Landscape and language among the Western Apache. University of New Mexico Press.
Basso, Keith H. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache. University of New Mexico Press, 1996.
Basso, Keith H. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.