Lela Rhoades, Pit River Woman: As Told to Molly Curtis

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9781597142052: Lela Rhoades, Pit River Woman: As Told to Molly Curtis

Lela Rhoades has a voice so sharp, so funny, warm, and honest, that the stories of her life and the traditions of her parents will barely sit still on the page. As told to Molly Curtis in the 1970's, this memoir takes us back into a world where men chased mother grizzlies out of their dens for their meat, where manzanita berries were ground up into sugar and houses built with the door right in the middle of the roof. It was an intricate, complex life that was unknown to the strangers that would take over the land.

For all of her recollections, old recipes, and legends, this is also a story of transition for Lela Rhoades, her Achumawi people, and for Native California in general. Here, Rhoades walks the line between tradition and change, watching the land and hunting rights of her people vanish, telling creation stories that blend both Coyote and Jesus, and recounting her marriage to a white rancher. Come, sit down at the feet of Lela Rhoades, and listen to the strength and beauty of her world.

''There was an aristocratic presence, an aristocratic aura about the heavy, elder lady, Lela Grant Rhoades, slowly rocking in her chair as she quietly embroidered a delicate pattern, silver needles flashing in the fading evening light, black-rimmed glasses resting on her nose--a mysterious aristocratic something, like she knew many secrets or something more necessary than life. I thought of Grandmother Spider creating her web with great confidence.'' --From the Foreword by Darryl Babe Wilson

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About the Author:

Molly Curtis has been an immigration attorney in Los Angeles for twenty years, after having taught English at UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has degrees from Goddard College and People's College of Law. As a young college student in 1970, she met Lela Rhoades, an 84-year-old Pit River Indian woman, in Redding, California. They became friends and recorded and preserved Rhoades' history and knowledge of her people in ''Lela Rhoades, A Pit River Woman.''

Review:

''Fascinating glimpses into a lifestyle that's been left behind.'' --Herald and News

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