Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days

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9781937786090: Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days
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What was it like to grow up in the world of the pre-reservation Plains Indians before the coming of the white settlers? Prior to our modern era of television, video games, and computers how did American Indian children live, learn, and play? In this beautifully illustrated book, award-winning author, Michael Oren Fitzgerald, combines stunning photographs and simple quotations by Indian chiefs and elders to explain to today's youth what life would have been like growing up on the American plains.
Children of the Tipi includes sections on boys and girls at play, camp life, and the important role of parents and grandparents. It features historical sepia photographs of children at work and play, as well as detailed color photographs of their toys, tools, and everyday objects.

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About the Author:

Michael Oren Fitzgerald is editor of numerous award-winning titles, including Indian Spirit: Revised and Enlarged and The Spirit of Indian Women. He is an acknowledged authority of the culture and religion of the Plains Indians, and has taught at Indiana University. He has two granddaughters and lives with his wife in Bloomington, IN.

Review:

This gem showcases the traditional life of the Plains Indians who “resist[ed] the white encroachment” the longest. Although the tribes included had varied cultures, Fitzgerald focuses on two common themes: moral character and the “sacred quality of virgin Nature.” Categorized under headings such as “Mothers,” “Girls at Play,” “Boys Love Bows and Arrows,” “Daily Camp Life,” “Music and Dance,” “Living in Nature,” and “The Olden Days Have Vanished,” each section is generously illustrated with sepia-toned archival photos. Quotes from important members of the tribes, people who had experienced firsthand or learned the traditional ways from elders, make up most of the text. Some of the quotes seem tangential at times. Others have been simplified for the intended audience, but they are not identified. The images are carefully positioned, and spot color photos of cultural artifacts add detail to each topic. The concluding pages, “...But Many Traditions Live On,” switch to color pictures of modern children participating in traditional activities. For the art alone, this will be a useful addition. (School Library Journal)

“Michael [Fitzgerald] has helped to preserve the spiritual traditions of the Crow Sun Dance and he has helped to show us the wisdom of the old-timers.” (Thomas Yellowtail, Crow medicine man and Sun Dance chief)

“Michael Fitzgerald has heard the poignant narratives of the American Indian people, and has lived among the Crow people for extended periods of time since 1970. He has studied American Indian religious traditions on the earth, among the people, in ceremonies and family gatherings. We thank Fitzgerald for his deep-seated appreciation, honor, and respect for American Indian culture, its religion, language, and lifeways.” (Janine Pease, founding president of the Little Big Horn College, and National Indian Educator of the Year)

“I greatly appreciate the recovery work that Fitzgerald is doing, work that makes available for the classroom and popular use texts that have been all but buried in libraries.” (Stephen Brandon, University of New Mexico)

"Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days" is a signature edition of collected quotations and sayings of North American Plains members of different tribes plus a stunning array of historic, rare sepia and white photographs of Native Americans of the Plains taken before 1904. Michael Oren has edited some of the proverbs and quotations, but the impact of the wisdom is unmitigated. Here are pictures of herds of buffalo, mothers and children in beaded cradleboards, Indian boys and girls at play with corn husk dolls and bows and arrows, and whole tribes riding horses pulling travois laden with buffalo hide tens and camp supplies. Here also are photos of bowls, spoons, corn, meat drying racks, pottery, jewelry, and rugs, and their making. All pictures are further explained in quotations of words from documented Native American individuals, with much guidance and valuable life messages contained in each utterance. The last few pages show modern color photos of Native American children of today, some still in special tribal dress. "Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days" is a fascinating window into the past of North America's many Plains Native American tribes, sure to be enjoyed by children ages 4-8 and their parents, caretakers, and educators (Midwest Book Review)

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