"Future generations of Iñupiaq will appreciate this collection as a touchstone back to their relatives and the stories that they told. The collection adds documentation to the growing record of oral literature from the region. Anderson's 52 page introduction will be referenced as a guide to Iñupiaq storytelling."
—Études Inuit Studies
The rich storytelling tradition of the Inupiat of Alaska is showcased in this remarkable collection of over eighty stories. Meticulously compiled from six villages in Northwest Alaska between 1966 and 1987, the stories are presented as part of a living tradition, complete with biographies, photos, and introductory remarks by Native storytellers. Each story provides insight into the Iñupiaq worldview, human-animal relationships, and the organization of family life.
The Dall Sheep Dinner Guest includes a new version of the Qayaq cycle, one of the best-known legends from the region, as well as stories such as “The Fast Runner.” A major contribution to the Native literature of Alaska, this collection includes two introductory essays by Wanni W. Anderson that provide historical background and a foundation for understanding gender, age, and regional differences and the narrative context of storytelling. Stories include The Girl Who Had No Wish to Marry by Willie Goodwin, Sr., The Goose Maiden by Nora Norton, The Last War with the Indians by Wesley Woods, The Orphan with No Clothes by Emma Skin, The Qayaq Cycle by Nora Norton, and Raven Who Brought Back the Land by Robert Cleveland (selected Iñupiaq Storyteller by the Inupiat of Northwest Alaska).
Additional storytellers include John Brown, Leslie Burnett, Flora Cleveland, Lois Cleveland, Maude Cleveland, Kitty Foster, Sarah Goode, Minnie Gray, Beatrice Mouse, Nellie Russell, and Andrew Skin.