By Frances Karttunen
Spanning the globe and the centuries, Frances Karttunen tells the tales of 16 women and men who served as interpreters and courses to conquerors, missionaries, explorers, squaddies, and anthropologists. those interpreters acted as uncomfortable bridges among worlds; their very own marginality, the truth that they belonged to neither world,underscores the complexity and rigidity among cultures assembly for the 1st time. The interpreters include:
o Do–a Marina (La Malinche), who interpreted for Cortes within the conquest of Mexico
o Sacajawea, who followed Lewis and Clark on their expedition
o Sarah Winnemucca, a U.S. military scout and Washington lobbyist for the Northern Paiutes
o Gaspar Antonio Chi, Maya Interpreter common for Yucatan
o Guaman Poma de Ayala, eyewitness reporter of the destruction of Inca culture
o Charles Eastman, a Sioux general practitioner at Wounded Knee
o Larin Paraske, an informant for Finnish ethnographers
o Do–a Luz Jimenez, Diego Rivera’s version and a local informant to anthropologists
o Mar’a Sabina, the Mazatec mushroom shaman who grew to become a celeb within the drug tradition of the 1960s
o Ishi, the final surviving Yahi Indian.
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Additional info for Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors
Assured by the Indians that it was excellent food, they cooked and ate it and found it comparable to both pork fat and beaver. They immediately decided to go see the remains of the whale itself and to try to buy some more blubber. At this point Sacajawea spoke up for herself. Lewis writes, "As soon as this resolution was known, Chaboneau and his wife requested that they be permitted to accompany us. The poor woman stated very earnestly that she had traveled a great way with us to see the great water, yet she had never been down to the coast, and now that this monstrous fish was also to be seen, it seemed hard that she should be permitted to see neither the ocean nor the whale.
The expedition set out for the Chontal Maya land of Acalan, building bridges and mucking through swamps with their horses and pack animals and pigs along a route intended for canoes. There was quicksand. Men and animals drowned. Some towns were found deserted. Provisions were not readily available. Finally the towns of Acalan were reached and the first round of miseries were behind. Doña Marina had assumed Aguilar's former position, interpreting for Cortés in Maya. But she also continued as Nahuatl interpreter, since Cortés had brought along Cuauhtemoc, other Aztec noblemen, and several thousand commoners from Mexico City to serve as bearers.
Early in June she had become desperately sick, and the course of the infection, whatever it was, lasted two full weeks. Lewis and Clark treated the illness by bleeding her, laying on poultices, and having her drink some sort of bark tea. When things seemed to get only worse, Lewis resorted to opium. The situation was critical not only for her but for the baby, who at four months was entirely dependent on breastfeeding. With no wet nurse on hand to help, his mother's death would have meant death for the child as well.