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The real people: The concept of personhood among the Yup'ik Eskimos of Western Alaska

The real people: The concept of personhood among the Yup'ik Eskimos of Western Alaska
Pages: 261 - 270
Type: Hors-thème
Auteur(s) / Author(s): Ann Fienup-Riordan
Résumé:

Cet article est extrait d'une biographie qui s'intitule « The Real People and the Children of Thunder », et qui relate la rencontre d'un couple de missionnaires moraves, John et Edith Kilbuck, dans la région du Kuskokwim avec les Yup'ik, à la fin du 19e siècle. La vie et l'œuvre des Kilbuck doivent être comprises par rapport aux différences essentielles entre la conception du monde des autochtones et celle des missionnaires. En particulier, il apparaît important d'examiner les différences entre les concepts yup'ik et occidental de personne pour rendre compte de la relation entre les catégories masculine et féminine de personne. Ainsi, plutôt que de thématiser les différences fondamentales entre l'homme et la femme, cet article présente leur caractère commun en tant que « véritables humains ».

 

Abstract:

The following essay is extracted from a historical biography entitled "The Real People and the Children of Thunder". This larger work concerns the process by which a Moravian missionary couple, John and Edith Kilbuck, and the Yup'ik Eskimos of the Kuskokwim drainage came to know each other during the late 1800s. A central thesis of the biography is that a full understanding of the Kilbucks' life and work is dependent on our ability to comprehend essential differences between the missionary and Native conceptions of the world in which they lived. By the same logic, it follows that a review of the essential differences between the Yup'ik and Western concepts of personhood is an important first step in a clear understanding of the relationship between male and female categories of persons. Thus, rather than focusing on the significant differences between men and women, the following pages briefly consider their common character as "real people".