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The Book Of Elders: The Life Stories Of Great American Indians.

Johnson, Sandy (as Told To).

15 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0062508377 / ISBN 13: 9780062508379
Published by Harper Collins, New York, 1994
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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About this Item

237 pages. Softcover. Very good condition. NATIVE AMERICANS. An unprecedented collection of photographs, stories and oral traditions from a broad range of Native American experiences and tribal customs. Photographed by Dan Budnick. (Key Words: Ethnography, Photography, Native Americans, Shamans, Religion, American Indians, Elders, Sandy Johnson, Spirituality). Bookseller Inventory # 520X2

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Book Of Elders: The Life Stories Of ...

Publisher: Harper Collins, New York

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: First Edition..

Book Type: book

About this title

From Kirkus Reviews:

An amateur ethnographer's attempt at recording the life stories of various aged Native Americans. Novelist and writer Johnson (Walk on a Winter Beach, 1982) was at a low point in her life when an unforgettable incident set her on a spiritual quest that resulted in this volume. Her brother and father had both recently died; writer's block prevented work on a novel; she was financially strapped; and she was having second thoughts about her then-current project--the biography of a nun who worked with Indians in the last century. Then, in a waking dream, she saw a wizened Indian face beckoning her. To what? She had to find out. Thus began a three-year journey through Indian country, interviewing tribal elders. As it turned out, she claims, the face she had seen was that of Pete Catches, a noted Oglala Lakota medicine man, whose interview leads off the volume. Those represented give a fair cross-section of Native experience in the 20th century. Some persons are familiar. Martin Gashweseoma and Thomas Banyacya discuss Hopi prophecies about humanity's impending destruction of the world. Janet McCloud, a Tulalip, discusses those who fraudulently peddle Native spirituality and also the fights over fishing rights that brought her to prominence. Others profiled are less well known. Mike Haney, half Seminole and half Lakota, is described by Johnson as one of ``tomorrow's elders.'' He discusses his involvement with the American Indian Movement and his battle with alcohol. An epilogue tells of Pete Catches's funeral. Dan Budnik's black-and-white photos are beautiful but add to the author's romanticized, white vision of what constitutes the authentically Indian. Although there is much of interest here and the pieces appear to be in the words of those interviewed, the fact that Johnson says nothing about her methods in gathering and recording the stories should make readers wary. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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