The following book is now available in paperback.
Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet
By Rosalyn R. La Pier
Winner of the 2018 John C. Ewers Book Award and 2018 Donald Fixico Book Award
Rosalyn R. LaPier demonstrates that Blackfeet history is incomplete without an understanding of the Blackfeet people’s relationship and mode of interaction with the “invisible reality” of the supernatural world. Religious beliefs provided the Blackfeet with continuity through privations and changing times. The stories they passed to new generations and outsiders reveal the fundamental philosophy of Blackfeet existence, namely, the belief that they could alter, change, or control nature to suit their needs and that they were able to do so with the assistance of supernatural allies. The Blackfeet did not believe they had to adapt to nature. They made nature adapt. Their relationship with the supernatural provided the Blackfeet with stability and made predictable the seeming unpredictability of the natural world in which they lived.
In Invisible Reality LaPier presents an unconventional, creative, and innovative history that blends extensive archival research, vignettes of family stories, and traditional knowledge learned from elders along with personal reflections on her own journey learning Blackfeet stories. The result is a nuanced look at the history of the Blackfeet and their relationship with the natural world.
And, yes, it has a tipi on the cover. Read Rosalyn’s explanation here.
“This is an important, accomplished, creative, [and] imaginative history that zings with original insights.”—Sarah Carter, professor and the Henry Marshall Tory Chair of the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta and editor of Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own