Description : The Finns of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are a unique group profiled by Lauri Anderson, who describes their comic aspect as well as the tragic moments of their lives.
Description : Humans understand at least some of what it means to be human, both literally and figuratively, in reference to wild animals. Our relationships with wildlife have traditionally been expressed in terms of hunting; more recently, these relationships have also been manifest as efforts to prevent hunting. Hunting and fishing traditions are, in fact, under fire by critics at the same time that they are receding of their own accord - perhaps becoming even more endangered than any of the pursued animals. These traditions form the major focus of Wild Games, a new collection of essays that looks at the folklore and culture of various hunting and fishing practices, documenting the central importance of hunting to many rural societies, even in modern times. Editors Dennis Cutchins and Eric Eliason contend that hunters often don't perceive of themselves as separate from the wild but, rather, identify strongly with a natural order - integrated with, rather than standing apart from, the fluctuation of ecosystems. And they frequently don't see wild animals as "set apart" but understand them as food sources, competitors, friendly rivals, and even equals. Featuring contributions from a variety of distinguished scholars and writers - including an essay by the noted folklorist Simon Bronner on the culture of the deer camp, a fascinating account of coyote tracking by Eric Eliason, and an examination of the role of gender in outdoor life by Diane Humphrey Lueck - this book shows how the traditions of hunting and fishing tend to bind hunter and prey into ancient patterns that often defy contemporary culture.