VAN DEUSEN, Kira




Author Tags: Anthropology, Women

As a folklorist specializing in the oral traditions of the people of Siberia, Kira van Deusen (b. 1946) of Vancouver presented more than 50 newly recorded traditional stories in The Flying Tiger: Women Shamans and Storytellers of the Amur (McGill-Queen's, 2001) and wrote Singing Story, Healing Drum: Shamans and Storytellers of Turkic Siberia (McGill-Queen's, 2004). She also published a children's book called Gamal the Camel (Polestar, 1992).

After decades exploring Siberian cultures, Kira Van Deusen turned to the Canadian north to ask and attempt to answer such questions as: How do shape-shifting shamans, a giant cannibalistic bumblebee, and human marriage with animals speak to Canadian Inuit and Siberian indigenous peoples today? How can artists present ancient legend in live performance and film with sensitivity to the source? Why are long multi-layered stories essential for adults and children in an age of commercial television? The result is Kiviuq: An Inuit Hero and His Siberian Cousins (McGill-Queens 2009), touted as the first in-depth book on Inuit oral literature to appear in English in nearly a century. It provides versions of the legend of the hero/shaman Kiviuq, an Inuit counterpart to Homer's Odysseus, as told by forty Inuit elders. Van Deusen also points out cultural connections across the Bering Strait, past and present.

BOOKS:


Gamal the Camel (Polestar, 1992).

The Flying Tiger: Women Shamans and Storytellers of the Amur (McGill-Queen's, 2001)

Singing Story, Healing Drum: Shamans and Storytellers of Turkic Siberia (McGill-Queen's, 2004).

Kiviuq: An Inuit Hero and His Siberian Cousins (McGill-Queens 2009) Paper (0773535004) 9780773535008 CA $32.95

[BCBW 2009] "Anthropology" "Women"