Arguing with Tradition The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court
by Justin B. Richland
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Cloth: 978-0-226-71293-2 | Paper: 978-0-226-71295-6 | Electronic: 978-0-226-71296-3
ABOUT THIS BOOKAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYREVIEWSTABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Arguing with Tradition is the first book to explore language and interaction within a contemporary Native American legal system. Grounded in Justin Richland’s extensive field research on the Hopi Indian Nation of northeastern Arizona—on whose appellate court he now serves as Justice Pro Tempore—this innovative work explains how Hopi notions of tradition and culture shape and are shaped by the processes of Hopi jurisprudence.

Like many indigenous legal institutions across North America, the Hopi Tribal Court was created in the image of Anglo-American-style law. But Richland shows that in recent years, Hopi jurists and litigants have called for their courts to develop a jurisprudence that better reflects Hopi culture and traditions. Providing unprecedented insights into the Hopi and English courtroom interactions through which this conflict plays out, Richland argues that tensions between the language of Anglo-style law and Hopi tradition both drive Hopi jurisprudence and make it unique. Ultimately, Richland’s analyses of the language of Hopi law offer a fresh approach to the cultural politics that influence indigenous legal and governmental practices worldwide.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Justin B. Richland is associate professor of anthropology and the social sciences in the College at the University of Chicago.

REVIEWS

"[Richland] is committed to the basic idea that social realities are created in and through the process of face-to-face interaction. At the same time, he also draws on recent developments in linguistic anthropological analysis of language ideologies and semiotics in ways that alter our perspectives on legal discourse. . . . This is a terrific book. it is accessible to undergraduate and advanced scholar alike. And it can be used to adress a wide range of issues in sociolinguistic and anthropological scholarship in both teaching and research."
— Language in Society

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

The Ironies of Indigeneity

Native American Tribal Law and Tradition

“Anglo” Law in Indian Country: Courts of Indian Offenses

Tribal Courts Today: At the Edge of Tribal Sovereignty

The Dearth of Ethnographies of Tribal Courts

The Approach and Aims of This Study

An Outline of This Study

2. Making a Hopi Nation: “Anglo” Law Comes to Hopi Country

Hopi Tribal Governance

Hopi Village Organization and Governance

Court Comes to Hopi Country

The Hopi Tribal Court Today

Data and Methodologies: Talking Tradition in Hopi Property Disputes

3. “What are you going to do with the village’s knowledge?” Language Ideologies and Legal Power in Hopi Tribal Court

Legal Discourse Analysis and Legal Power

Language Ideologies, Metadiscourse, and Metapragmatics

Talking Tradition, Talking Law in Hopi Courtroom Interactions

The Language Ideologies of Anglo-American Law versus Hopi Traditional Authority

Conclusion

4. “He could not speak Hopi . . . . That puzzle— puzzled me”: The Pragmatic Paradoxes of Hopi Tradition in Court

Paradox in the Pragmatics of Language and Law

Discourses of Cultural Difference in Hopi Court

Iterations of Indigeneity in a Hopi Court Hearing

Conclusion

5. Suffering into Truth: Hopi Law as Narrative Interaction

Legal Narrativity in and out of Court

A Model of Hopi Law as Narrative Interaction

The Significance of Settings: Judicial Openings of Hopi Courtroom Narrative

The Contested Narrativity of a Hopi Property Proceeding

Conclusion

6. Conclusion: Arguments with Tradition

Tradition, Culture, and the Politics of Authenticity

The “Politics” of Multiculturalism and Native Culture

Arguing with Tradition

Notes

References

Index