"Would It Might Rain, Now!": The Quail Rattle, A Walapai Fetish

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Jay Hansford C. Vest, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library

Abstract: For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is an odd holiday celebrating Pilgrim survivals and nearly four hundred years of genocide and conquest. So when in 1994, while teaching in Phoenix, I was somewhat at a loss and yet thankful when my Walapai student, Alfonso Havatone, invited me to join his family in Thanksgiving at Kingman, Arizona. Awakening the old uncle after midnight, we found our lodging and settled in until morning when the new day was revivified with song. Joseph Havatone, the old uncle, was a celebrated singer among the Walapai and that morning I noticed the two gourd rattles that he used to sanctify our Thanksgiving. Later that day when he appeared at the dinner, he offered me the "Quail Rattle" as a gift of thanks for my contribution to his nephew's education. The Quail Rattle, a Walapai fetish, came to me that Thanksgiving in the spirit of family and sharing, as a result, I have tried to share it wisely when teaching the organicism inherent in Native American traditions. Despite its striking traditional symbolism, I have often been disappointed by my students' failure to divine its meaning in keeping with the traditional Native religion. With no markings denoting quail, the Quail Rattle seems to defy their imagination. When presented with an accompanying Papago oral text, however, students are more apt to acknowledge the organic power that pervades American Indian religious traditions. Intent upon sharing this pedagogy, it is my purpose with this essay to offer the images, text and analysis of the Quail Rattle as it exhibits an all-embracing Native American religious organicism.

Additional Information

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, v. 3, no. 7
Language: English
Date: 2013
Walapai Indian Tribe, Hualupai Indian Tribe, The Quail Rattle , Native American Religious Traditions , Native American Religious Organicism, Walapai Fetish , Thanksgiving, Papago Indian Tribe , Papago Oral Text

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