Through artefacts, stories (passed down from generation to generation) and contemporary artworks, this book explains how to look at and appreciate Native American culture. What do certain animals represent? What does a shaman do? How does the tactile world, the animal world and the Spirit world interact? What do certain symbols mean? Of the more than 500 known tribes nearly 50 are represented, from all parts of the country. This book includes an index and a glossary of tribes.
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(254mm x 216mm x 22mm)
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
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US Kirkus Review »
Arresting in its presentation, with sharp reproductions of artifacts from many centuries and contemporary artworks pictured on beige parchment-like pages, this book is a delight for the eyes, but difficult to comprehend. The text is a rich mixture of Dunn's poetry and folk tales and myths from almost 50 North American tribal groups, accompanied by scholarly explanations of these stories and the traditions that engendered them. It is fascinating, yet too dense for the intended child audience. The authors - Berk an academic folklorist and Dunn a Cherokee/Muskogee/Seminole poet, journalist and musician - tell readers repeatedly that the many peoples of Native America must be respected for their knowledge, their care of the earth, their many ancient traditions and their ability to fuse their heritage with the challenges of living in an often hostile environment. The stories themselves are retold with a fine sense of oral language, but librarians, teachers and parents will need to assist young readers in finding the nuggets of gold in this rich but sometimes arid compendium. (list of tribes and nations mentioned, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-adult) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ari Berk
Ari Berk is a writer, artist and Professor of literature at Central Michigan University where he teaches in the fields of myth, folklore and Native American literature. He is the author of scholarly studies as well as popular titles for children and adults, most notably The Runes of Elfland and Goblins! (with Brian Froud/Abrams). Carolyn Dunn is a poet, journalist, playwright and musician, and is an Irvine Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). She is the author of two books of poetry Outfoxing Coyote and Echo Location and is co-editor of the anthologies Through The Eye of the Deer (with Carol Comfort) and Hozho: Walking In Beauty (with Paula Gunn Allen). A member of the all woman drum group The Mankillers, she lives in Los Angeles, USA, with her husband and children.