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Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch: A…
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Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch: A Traditional Medical Practice in… (2007)

by David W. Kriebel

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David Kriebel has given us an interesting, investigative and quite scholarly text on the topic of pow-wow. "Powwowing" is not an instructional text, nor is it merely an historical text; this work gives the reader a wide scope of the practice of braucherei up to and including recent years. This work includes detailed recollections of his first hand encounters with pow-wowers. It is truly an interesting read, albeit a read that is quite esoteric and probably to be enjoyed by those who already have a sincere interest in the practice. If you are interested in pow-wow, make this a part of your library. ( )
  awholtzapple | Jun 20, 2012 |
This is a book on the art of pow-wow, a Pennsylvania "Dutch" German form of magick (they're called "Dutch", but it's really a misunderstanding or mis-hearing of the German word, "Deitch" (meaning German) by English settlers in the late 18th century. Even though it's inaccurate, the term stuck, and is still used today.

Pow-wow is one of a few forms of indigenous American folk-magick paths (the others being mostly hoodoo and Appalachian witchcraft). I have a lot of books on the subject, but this one is by far the most in-dept study yet. Kreibel is an anthropologist, so the book is written from a scholarly standpoint rather than a practitioner's.

Kreibel demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, powwowing is not a vanishing art, and that it is still quite alive. However, he does show how it has changed over the years. Powwow as practiced today is somewhat similar to more New Age forms of healing, such as the laying on of hands and use of prayer. This differs from 18th and 19th century powwow which could be described as "white sorcery", utilizing magickal books and talismans.

The book is full of autobiographical information of legendary powwow doctors (known in Pennsylvania Dutch as Braucherei) as well as modern interviews with contemporary practitioners. Kreibel supports his hypotheses well. The back of the book is full of appendices showing the results of his surveys in a statistical manner.

The only drawback to the book is, because it was written to support a hypotheses, he repeatedly restates points to clarify his findings (as is common in scholarly works). It's great for presenting supporting evidence, but makes for a somewhat dry and repetitive read. This aside, it's a phenomenal read. ( )
  Dead_Dreamer | Jan 7, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0271032138, Hardcover)

Known in Pennsylvania Dutch as 'brauche' or 'braucherei,' the folk-healing practice of powwowing was thought to draw upon the power of God to heal all manner of physical and spiritual ills. Yet some people believed, and still believe today, that this power to heal came not from God, but from the devil. Controversy over powwowing came to a climax in 1929 with the York Hex Murder Trial, in which one powwower from York County, Pennsylvania, killed another powwower (who, he believed, had placed a hex on him).

In Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, David Kriebel examines the practice of powwowing in a scholarly light and shows that, contrary to popular belief, the practice of powwowing is still active today. Because powwowing lacks extensive scholarly documentation, David Kriebel's research is both a groundbreaking inquiry and a necessity for the scholar of Pennsylvania German history and culture.

The fact that powwowing is still practiced may come as a surprise to some readers, but included in this book are the interviews Kriebel had with living powwowers during his seven years of fieldwork in southeastern and central Pennsylvania. Along with these interviews, Kriebel includes biographical sketches of seven living powwowers; descriptions of powwowing as it was practiced in years past, compared with the practice today; a discussion of the belief of powwowing as healing; and a discussion of the future, if any, of powwowing, and what it will take for powwowing to continue to survive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:43 -0400)

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