When You Sing It Now, Just Like New
First Nations Poetics, Voices, and Representations
When You Sing It Now, Just Like New is a collection of essays about stories: about hearing, sharing, and recording them, and sometimes even becoming characters in them. These essays, which contextualize stories within anthropology, flow from Robin Ridington and Jillian Ridington's decades of work with the Athapaskan-speaking Dane-zaa people, who live in Canada's Peace River area. The essays in part 1 feature the Ridingtons' audio work as well as Jillian's reflections on her relationships with Dane-zaa women. The authors use a narrative style to lead the reader to an understanding of First Nations' oral and written traditions. The essays in parts 2 and 3 are more scholarly and comparative and draw on ethnographic experience. They speak to one or more theoretical issues and discuss First Nations traditions beyond the Dane-zaa, but always from within the context of shared ethnographic authority. Students of anthropology, folklore, and Native studies can hear samples of audio compositions from the Dane-zaa archive by downloading audio files from the University of Nebraska Press Web site.
Robin Ridington is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Trail to Heaven: Knowledge and Narrative in a Northern Native Community and coauthor of Blessing for a Long Time: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe (Nebraska 2000). Jillian Ridington is a producer and writer of radio documentaries, many focused on the culture of the Dane-zaa First Nation. She is the coauthor (with Robin Ridington) of People of the Trail: How the Northern Forest Indians Lived.