ERIC Number: ED193660
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec
Reference Count: 0
A Word Has Power: Poetry and Healing in American Indian Cultures.
The introduction of poetry into psychotherapy in the Western (European American) tradition and a growing interest in connections between the fine arts and the healing arts have prompted investigations of the parallel uses of poetry in other cultures. Examples of how three native American groups (Oglala Sioux, Piman, and Navaho) have used poetry in healing illustrate the power of language, the content and structure of healing poems, and the comparative use, construction, and performance of native American poetry relevant to Western theories. A great deal more remains to be said about the function of language, especially poetry, in the healing practices and theories of different cultures. Much can be learned by investigating the education and qualifications of the poet, the content and standards of individual poems and sequences of songs, and changes in ceremonial practices in response to new needs within the culture. The introduction of poetry into Western psychotherapeutic practice, if it is to be successful, can well benefit from the sophisticated theories and techniques developed by cultures that prize the value, power, and beauty of the word. (RL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association (94th, San Francisco, CA, December 27-30, 1979).