DEEP VALLEY by Burt W. & Ethel G. Aginsky


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This book is the culmination of some twenty-five years of library and field research concerning the North California Indian tribe, the Pomos. Here the Aginskys reconstruct their aboriginal culture before it was intruded upon and forever altered by the white man. The time is the early nineteenth century, the setting Deep Valley. Through the personages of Man of Many Beads, whose wife Long Haired Woman has just discovered his dalliance, of Elder Relative, who becomes ill of poisoning, of Wakin and Kabemok, who meet in the brush and discover they need to marry, we learn of the laws of family life, the sex ways, the doctoring process and belief about antipathetic forces. Grandfather serves to tell the creation myth, the Chief to arrange the Big Time when the ceremonial dances are enacted. An epilogue brings the life of the people up to date. The Aginskys are only partially successful in their recreation--their style is negligible and resolve and good will is required to read the material for what it says rather than how it says it. It does not stand up well in relation to the literature.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1967
Publisher: Stein & Day