Vision Quests

Vision Quests

Dreams or vision quests: among Iroquoian-speaking peoples in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was considered extremely important literally to realize one's dreams.

Many European observers marvelled at how Indians would be willing to travel for days to bring back some object, trophy, crystal or even an animal like a dog that they had dreamed of acquiring. Anyone who dreamed about a neighbour or relative's possession (a kettle, ornament, mask and so on) could normally demand it; as a result, such objects would often gradually travel some way from town to town. On the Great Plains, decisions to travel long distances in search of rare or exotic items could form part of vision quests.

Yet another quote I excised from a book. This time it's from The Dawn of Everything by David Wengrow and the late David Graeber. The quote constitutes one the three examples they list for explaining why some objects travel long distances but this travel is not done for trade reasons. I am reproducing it here because it might inspire us, tabletop dreamers.

What if such objects acquired as much magic as patina?

My previous post was about Mountain Passes and it mentioned trade. But what if there is simply a mountain pass between you and the vision you're questing for?

Let's close with a quote from the book, about itself:

In one sense, then, this book is simply trying to lay down foundations for a new world history, rather as Gordon Childe did when, back in the 1930s, he invented phrases like 'the Neolithic Revolution' or 'the Urban Revolution'. As such it is necessarily uneven and incomplete.

At the same time, this book is also something else: a quest to discover the right questions.