Grateful prey: Rock Cree human-animal relationships by Robert Alain Brightman

By Robert Alain Brightman

The interplay among non secular ideals and looking practices one of the Asiniskawidiniwak or Rock Crees of northern Manitoba is the point of interest of Robert Brightman's particular examine. This foraging society, he says, bases facets of its looking and trapping mostly on what we name "religious" conceptions.Seeking an ideology, even if, that includes Cree ideals approximately human-animal transformations and the relationships that are meant to exist among them as hunter and prey, Brightman reveals those ideals to be disordered and risky instead of systematic. Animals are represented as concurrently extra and no more robust than people. The hunter-prey courting is observed as either collaborative and opposed. Exploring the impression of those non secular representations on technical features of subsistence traditionally, Brightman reveals that Crees' attitudes and activities towards animals have been, and are, rather arbitrary with admire to organic and environmental forces. Anthropologists will see in his well-researched dialogue a problem to triumphing ecological and Marxist methods to foraging societies.

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You're going to spoil your luck. The next time you go in the bush you don't kill a beaver. Because you're playing with it, playing with the meat if you scatter it all over the place. You got to keep it holy. I mean not to drop your meat, not get blood all over the home. This way you'll be lucky. Pikisitowin ['purity'], ta-pikisit ['someone will be pure']. You don't i-mitawakit ['someone plays with it']. Like if you scatter it, if you don't pay attention what you do with it. Mess around, throw your skins all over the floor, people stepping on them.

83/a [1795]). 141/a/1 [1802-03]). 141/a/2 [1808-09]). By 1821, when the competing Hudson's Bay and Northwest companies amalgamated, both furbearing animals and big game were greatly reduced in numbers in the Churchill and Nelson River drainages. 141/e/2). The Indian Lake and Nelson House posts were dosed in 1823 and 1827 to allow beaver numbers to increase (Fleming 1940:lx), although posts at Split Lake and Three Points Lake continued to operate in the Nelson River District. Page 13 The Late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries Crees say that Pukatawagan Lake provides an abundant summer and winter fishery and that it has been a gathering place for their people for time out of mind, a status that probably prompted the construction of Northwest Company and Hudson's Bay Company posts there as early as the 1780s.

I have not tried to make the older way of life look better than it was. But I also believe that there was and maybe still is value in this religion and that such rules of the Cree people as generosity and respect for nature were taught in it. I learned about men and women who used their dreams and powers to help each other through illness, to kill animals to feed their families, and to express their gratitude for the gifts of life. The book draws on diverse resources. Primary among these are my records of observations and conversations in and around the northwestern Manitoba communities of Granville Lake and Pukatawagan between September 1977 and May 1979.

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