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Spirit Fire and Lightning Songs

Robert J. David's Spirit Fire and Lightning Songs makes a major contribution to the steadily growing body of research in the western United States that prioritizes indigenous voices, myth, and neuropsychological models to provide a fresh and innovative approach to decolonizing the past. As a Klamath Tribal member, David's scholarly and engaging writing style lends itself to the retelling of Klamath-Modoc myths and the interpretation of how these myths convincingly relate to rock art at 4-Mod-22, a complex Klamath Basin petroglyph site in Northern California near the former Tule Lake. David's work at 4-Mod-22 highlights three distinctive classes of rock art: iconic motifs, residual markings, and geometric figures. Information provided by a combination of Klamath-Modoc ethnography and myth suggests that these distinctive rock art categories denote two patterns of ritual use that include shamans' consultations with their spirit familiars, and shamanic power quests.
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