The School of Anthropology invites you to attend a talk by 2017 University Indian Ruin Residential Scholar Alex K. Ruuska, who will give a lecture titled, "When the Earth Was New: Intersections of Numic and Newe Oral Traditions, Archaeology and Geology." Ruuska will explore oral traditions among the Paiute and Western Shoshone of California, the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. Using ethnoarchaeology and geology, she will demonstrate how science and native oral traditions can be used in tandem to relay information about ancient floods and seismic events including volcanism, earthquakes, faulting and geothermal activities. Such narratives and the associated seismically active landscapes may have become the basis for the entire ritual cycle of the Paiute and Shoshone people. The ritual life cycle includes earth destruction and rebirth narratives, as well as human fertility, coming of age, healing and death rituals.
Ruuska is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northern Michigan University. She completed her Ph.D. at the UA School of Anthropology in 2007.
The tour will take place from 1-3 p.m. and the lecture will follow at 3-4 p.m. Tours will be led by professors Emeriti Suzanne and Paul Fish.