Thursday, July 31, 2008

by the prophet of the earth...

armitage design 1

armitage design 2

armitage design 4

armitage design 3

by the prophet of the earth was written as a kind of ethnobotanical guide to the plants of arizona as used by the pima indians, and is largely a list of plants and how the pima people used them for food, medicine, and other uses. it's a beautiful book, designed by merle armitage in 1949. armitage had a very crisp graphic style, and everything looks a bit like he worked with wood blocks and is a nice hybrid of modernist and folk art tendencies. a book on american indian culture seems totally fitted to his aesthetic, and indeed many of his books are related to the desert. here are some nice bits:

some keys to pima pronunciation:
ai as in aisle: e.g. vaila, dance
ee as in eel: e.g. eebdak, heart
a as in papa: e.g. babat, frog (i like how this word sounds so much like a frog sound)
i as in pit: e.g. itdam, upon
yi approaches a softly aspirated vi: e.g. cofyi, woman

protection against whirlwinds:
lewis told me he has a brother who lives at casa blanca and when he sees a whirlwind approaching, he steps out of his house, crosses his index fingers, and hums. with this method he keeps the whirlwind from entering his house, it just passes by.

the fair one's attention is saught... to do this, he takes his flute, an instrument of cane with four holes, and, seating himself beneath a bush near her dwelling, keeps up a plaintive noise for hours. the music is continued day after day, until she acknowledges him.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAB. I .OLA BERACASA I LOVE IT!! I totally remember those t-shirts, the bag is so fresh, so happy, so unabashedly cool!! I cannot see how you would find it so unappealing!

1:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home