From anthropologist and friend, Dorothy Lee, in Freedom and Culture:
The definition of the self in our own culture rests on our law of contradiction. The self cannot be both self and not self, both self and other; the self excludes the other.
Wintu [natives of the Mt. Shasta area] philosophy in general has no law of contradiction. Where we have mutually exclusive dualistic categories, the Wintu have categories which are inclusive, but not mutually so; that is, object A will be included in object B, but not vice versa. Out of this context, B can be distinguished or emphasized through various linguistic devices. For example, in Wintu thought, man is included in nature; natural law, timeless order, is basic and true, irrespective of man.
However, independent judgement, private experience and free will are not thereby excluded, but function transiently within the framework of natural law; man actualizes and gives temporality and concreteness to the natural order upon which he impinges [my emphasis] -- through act of will and personal intent.
The concept of the self forms one of these non-exclusive categories. When speaking about Wintu culture, we cannot speak of the self and society, but rather of the self in society. As a member of my society, writing for readers of this cultural background, I am presenting my study from the point of view of the self and its gradually decreasing participation in society; however, I believe that this is only due to my cultural bias, and that a Wintu would have started from what for us is the opposite direction, the gradual distinguishing of the self from society.
In our own culture, we are clear as to the boundaries of the self. In our commonly held unreflective view, the self is a distinct unit, something we can name and define. We know what is the self and what is not the self; and the distinction between the two is always the same. With the Wintu, the self has no strict bounds, is not named and is not, I believe, recognized as a separate entity.