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About This Book
Retelling Trickster in Naapi's Language is an examination of Nitsitapiisinni (Blackfoot) origin stories about one of the most powerful and unpredictable of the early creators in Niitsitapii consciousness and chronology: Naapi. Through in-depth linguistic analysis, Nimachia Howe reinterprets the earliest references to Naapi, offering a more authentic understanding of his identity and of the meanings and functions of the stories in which he appears.Naapi is commonly and inaccurately categorized by Western scholars as a trickster figure. Research on him is rife with misnomers and repeated misinterpretations, many resulting from untranslatable terms and concepts, comparisons with the binary tenets of "good" vs. "bad," and efforts by Niitsitapii storytellers to protect the stories. The five stories included in their entirety in this volume present Naapi's established models of reciprocity, connection, kinship, reincarnation, and offerings, shown in descriptions of, and predictions for, the balance between life and death, the rising and setting of planets, wind directions and forces, and the cyclical nature of animals, birds, plants, glaciers, and rivers. Retelling Trickster in Naapi's Language will be of interest to students and scholars of Native American studies, ethnography, folklore, environmental philosophy, and Indigenous language, literature, and religion.