By Keith H. Basso

'The Whiteman' is without doubt one of the strongest and pervasive symbols in modern American Indian cultures. photographs of 'the Whiteman': linguistic play and cultural symbols one of the Western Apache investigates a fancy type of joking within which Apaches level conscientiously crafted imitations of Anglo-Americans and, via those characterizations, supply audible voice and visual substance to their conceptions of this such a lot urgent of social 'problems'. Keith Basso's essay, in keeping with linguistic and ethnographic fabrics amassed in Cibecue, a Western Apache group, presents interpretations of chosen joking encounters to illustrate how Apaches cross approximately making feel of the behaviour of Anglo-Americans. This research attracts on thought in symbolic anthropology, sociolinguistics, and the dramaturgical version of human communique built by way of Erving Goffman. even if the assumptions and premises that form those parts of inquiry are held through a few to be really disparate, this research exhibits them to be absolutely appropriate and at the same time complementary.

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Extra info for Portraits of "the Whiteman": Linguistic Play and Cultural Symbols among the Western Apache

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Grenville Goodwin, an 21 I ·I ·' l l _ Ae i . - D t= I - __ 1. I )istribution of 1 H50 1 j Sonora -- _ , s-__,s""c� ��"""e=-e _ _ Western Apache subtribal groups (circa 23 Cibecue and whitemen ethnographer who worked extensively with the San Carlos Apache in the 1930s, reported that in pre-reservation times agricultural products made up only 25 percent of all the food consumed in a year, the remaining 75 percent being a combination of undomesticated plants, game animals, and stolen livestock (Goodwin, 1937:61).

J: goslz tl'ish bitoo bishaayo nanal:tse' ('They're near Mud Springs',) K: 'aa. ('Yes',) [J starts to speak again but is interrupted by a knock on the door. ] J: Hello, my friend! How you doing? How you feeling, L? You feeling good? ] J: Look who here, everybody! Look who just come in. Sure, it's my Indian friend, L. Pretty good all right! ] J: Come right in, my friend! Don't stay outside in the rain. Better you come in right now. ] J: Sit down! Sit right down! Take your loads off you ass. You hungry?

Prett ,_Jt . -� • _, i . " More astonishing still, Whitemen are observed to use the same name over and over again in the same conversation. This practice is harder to understand. A frequent explanation, only slightly facetious, is that White­ men are exceedingly forgetful and therefore must continuous! remind themselves of whom the 5. J slaps L on t e ac , shakes his hand repeatedly, looks him squarely in the face, and, havin ras ed h th ides him to a seat. Except when participating. in activiti(ts tha't ,necessarily involve physical contact, Western-Apach�·s are �areful to avoid touching each other in ptiblio: _This is especially true of adult men.

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