In trying to clean out my inbox I reread some very good advice from the late Nora Thompson Dean, a Delaware Indian native speaker. The email was from Jim Rementer who worked directly with Dean on preserving Delaware, or Lenape, language. Dean had an especially difficult day with some anthropologists. "She was talking about it after they had all left that day and I suggested that she write down some of the things they did wrong.  After I saw it I suggested she submit it to the newsletter that I got, and they published it," wrote Rementer. Dean's advice is worth thinking about as we try to establish rapport with those we are less familiar with. Her words are important for journalists and photojournalists. While she spoke to Native American customs, her advice can be broadened to other cultures. Learn all you can about customs of others so as to not inadvertently cause problems from your own actions. ************************************************************************* A BAKER'S DOZEN DO-NOTS: SOME GUIDELINES FOR LINGUISTS, ANTHROPOLOGISTS, AND THEIR RELATED TRIBAL MEMBERS The author, Nora Thompson Dean of Dewey, Oklahoma, is a member of the Lenape or Delaware tribe. For more than twenty-five years she worked with various professional people, and from that work she gives these points of cultural differences that may benefit people in the field. 1. DO NOT go to work among the Native Americans with the idea that you are doing them a favor. It will show through in your attitude. 2. DO NOT refuse to go into a house if you have been invited to come in. The people will think you consider their house dirty. 3. DO NOT sit on the edge of your seat like a bird about to take flight. As with number two, the person you have come to work with will assume you think his/her house is dirty. 4. DO NOT refuse any food or drink (unless you are allergic to it) which is offered to you by Native Americans. It is an insult to refuse food among my people. The most extreme example of violating this rule occurred one summer while I worked with a professional, and my daughter served us ice cream in our finest dishes. Without eating any this person called our family dog over and set this dish with the spoon in it down on the ground (we were outside) for the dog to eat! 5. DO NOT come to a Native American home or ceremonial with your shirt wide open, or worse, with no shirt at all, especially if you are hairy-chested. While it may be considered virile among the Whites, body hair is repulsive to Native Americans, especially to full-bloods. The same rule would apply to shorts or cut-off jeans. 6. DO NOT tell one person that another knew a word or fact which the person you are speaking to did not know, or do not say "But so-and-so says it this way!". Make note of the difference and recheck them later. 7. DO NOT interrupt when someone is answering your question. Among the White people it might be fine to 'jump in' with your opinion, but among Native Americans this is rude. Let the person finish talking. 8. DO NOT talk to the person with whom you are working at the same volume you would use to lecture a class. Most Native Americans, unless hard-of-hearing, do not talk quite as loud as White people. Pay attention to how loud the people where you are talk, and adjust your voice. 9. DO NOT stand very close to the person with whom you are working in order to hear better. Native Americans stand a bit farther apart when talking than do White people. As an exaggerated example, I had one fellow tribesman tell me of a professional person, "He stood on my toes and showered my face with spit." So if a Native American keeps backing away from you, it may not be that you have BO, you may just be too close for comfort. 10. DO NOT pull your chair up so that you are sitting kneecap-to-kneecap with your resource person. The same rules of distance apply when sitting. 11. DO NOT refuse to attend any ceremonies if you are invited. If you have reasons why you cannot go, tell them, or you may never again be invited. For female professional people it should be mentioned that women in their period are not allowed at some ceremonials, and you may wish to check this fact out with a women of the group you are working with. 12. DO NOT take photos or make recordings without permission. This applies to people and ceremonials. Among some Native American groups you might have your equipment confiscated, and returned later without film or tape. This may even apply to notebooks. Never try to do these things if you were refused permission. 13. DO NOT forget the people with whom you worked once you get back to ivy-covered halls. An occasional post card or Season's Greetings card will let them know that they were more to you than an old mop; something to be remembered and used only when you need it. - Nora Thompson Dean, published in Algonquian And Iroquoian Linguistics Newsletter 7:2, 1982