Invisible Reality

Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet

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Rosalyn R. LaPier
New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies Series
  • Chapel Hill, NC: 
    University of Nebraska Press
    , September
     2017.
     240 pages.
     $50.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781496201508.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Robin Nurnberger forthcoming.

Description

Rosalyn R. LaPier demonstrates that Blackfeet history is incomplete without an understanding of the Blackfeet people’s relationship and mode of interaction with the “invisible reality” of the supernatural world. Religious beliefs provided the Blackfeet with continuity through privations and changing times. The stories they passed to new generations and outsiders reveal the fundamental philosophy of Blackfeet existence namely, the belief that they could alter, change, or control nature to suit their needs and that they were able to do so with the assistance of supernatural allies. The Blackfeet did not believe they had to adapt to nature. They made nature adapt. Their relationship with the supernatural provided the Blackfeet with stability and made predictable the seeming unpredictability of the natural world in which they lived.

In Invisible Reality Rosalyn LaPier presents an unconventional, creative, and innovative history that blends extensive archival research, vignettes of family stories, and traditional knowledge learned from elders along with personal reflections on her own journey learning Blackfeet stories. The result is a nuanced look at the history of the Blackfeet and their relationship with the natural world.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Rosalyn R. LaPier is an associate professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Montana and a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History. She is the coauthor, with David R. M. Beck, of City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893–1934 (Nebraska, 2015).

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