Written in the 1930s, this still resonates.  It’s also an unusual example of a fool or clown openly stating that the chief is no good, inciting the elders to get together and choose a new one. It was more usual for the fool to try to influence ‘the chief’ than to conclude – and state – that he was a basket case and needed replacing.

How many chiefs would keep their jobs today if a Tübatulabal clown were let loose on them?

The Tübatulabal clown ‘didn’t care what he said, either to women or the chief; if the chief was no good the clown walked around saying so; then all the old men would get together and choose  a new chief.’

Source: Erminie Voegelin, ‘Tubatulabal Ethnography’, Anthropologial Records 2, 1 (1938): 56


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