Wisdom sits in places and there are senses of place

In my modest opinion, “Wisdon sits in places”, Keith H. Basso 1996 book, is a striking tour de force-took-more than three decades in the making- striking, because a new way of “observing”  a remarkably different lifestyle unfolds-my indian friends dont be ticked off, please. “Why don’t you make maps over there… not whitemen’s maps… but Apache maps with Apache places and names.” One can even warm up to Bassos’ approach. The tantalizing realization from here is that landscape, place, is embedded in the moral imagination-of the Western apaches and it is a  reciprocal relationship between them and their land. Tribal members and community are connected to the voices of their ancestors. ” Place-names produce mental images of a geographical location, which then evoke prior stories and sagas, and which go on to affirm the value and validity of traditional moral precepts (ancestral knowledge). This process of affirmation can heal disturbing thoughts and wounded spirits. At the end of the book Basso asks “What is wisdom?”. Dudley, his Apache informant says “Wisdom sits in places”, and then launches into an ancestor story of struggle along the trail of wisdom. The wisdom trail is one of self-reflection and leads to the creation of a steady and resilient mind; a smooth mind that will be alert to danger. Only through reflection can one walk the trail of wisdom. Finally, Dudley says, “Wisdom sits in places. It’s like water that never dries up. You need to drink water to stay alive, don’t you? Well, you also need to drink from places. pg. 127”.                                                 Quotes from:  Cheleen Mahar. Interface: The Journal of education community and values. March 2003. vol 2, issue 3. Review of Wisdom sits in places. Pacific University, Oregon. http://bcis.pacificu.edu/journal/2003/02/mahar.php

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One Response to “Wisdom sits in places and there are senses of place”

  1. sandra742 Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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