Book cover for Stories FInd You, Places Know. Aerial view of flat, green landscape with some lakes.
Award Winner
Brian McConnell Book Award

Stories Find You, Places Know

Yup'ik Narratives of a Sentient World

By Holly Cusack-McVeigh

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Subjects: Folklore Studies

9781607815822 (paperback)
9781607815839 (ebook)

Grounded in existing understandings of Yup’ik cosmology and worldview, this work is the first to look at how a Yup’ik community uses stories of place in social life. On the Bering coast of southwest Alaska, Cusack-McVeigh accompanied storytellers during their daily activities. Hearing many narratives repeatedly over a span of years, she came to understand how stories reflected interactions of people and places.

For the Yup’ik people, places are also social actors that react to human actions and emotions. Stories tell how people learn about each other through encounters on the land, and thereby places also learn about people. Places comment on human behavior through the land's responses to specific actions. Stories variously reveal ideas about human associations and relationships between humans and nonhuman beings. Pointing to a systematic correlation between places and narrative elements that has not been previously explored, this volume makes a unique contribution to the literature on place. 

Winner of the Brian McConnell Book Award from the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.