Life, Death, and Humor: Approaches to Storytelling in Native America

Edith Turner


Introduction. Edith Turner has been studying healing as a sensitive, spiritually attuned participantobserver for a long time. Despite her academic background, experiential learning and knowing are important parts of Turner’s approach to research. Her efforts to understand healing have taken her on journeys to Africa, Mexico, Ireland, and more recently, Alaska’s North Slope. In these contexts, she has experienced healing offered by others, and learned to heal in various traditional ways herself. In her book, The Hands Feel It 1996, Turner focuses on the role that touch and spirit presence have in healing in a North Slope Iñupiat community. However, her book makes clear that narrative and storytelling are important parts of the healing process, as well. In this paper, Turner elaborates on some aspects of the connection between narrative and healing based on her North Slope experience. WHA

  • Edith Turner, Department of Anthropology 100 Brooks Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

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