A CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY ON NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, FOR K-12
Students in today's classrooms represent a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Teachers and librarians are responding to this fact by actively seeking books and other resources that reflect multiple perspectives. Teachers and school administrators are revising existing curricula to correct longstanding misinterpretations of American history by incorporating materials that present the voices and experiences of women, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Americans Indians and Alaskan Natives.
At the National Museum of Natural History, the Outreach Office of the Department of Anthropology receives thousands of requests each year from all over the world for information on American Indians--from educators, students, American Indians, and the public at large. The 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in America and interest in environmental issues and American Indian spirituality, as well as the general trend toward multiculturalism mentioned above have led to a proliferation of books, movies, and educational materials about American Indians. In light of these new resources and in response to requests for educational materials, the Outreach Office began compiling a comprehensive, annotated bibliography on American Indians for elementary and secondary students.
We began by making an informal inquiry of local schools and libraries to learn what materials were already available and which ones teachers were using in their classrooms. We discovered that teachers' knowledge of American Indian cultures varied greatly; their emphasis was often on Indians of the past rather than the present. The next step was to organize a Smithsonian symposium, "Teaching About American Indians," held in March 1991. Prominent Indian and non-Indian educators and scholars from around the country introduced local elementary school teachers to new curricula, taught them how to identify stereotypes, and suggested new approaches to teaching about Indians. Teachers had the opportunity to speak with Indian people about whom they were teaching but with whom they had little if any contact. Symposium participants agreed that there was a need for a critical bibliography that teachers could use not only as a resource but also as a tool for learning to evaluate reading material on American Indians.
Many consultants---Indian and non-Indian school and museum educators, tribal representatives, librarians, and scholars---played a part in the development of this project. Bibliographies by Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale, Barbara Kuipers, Arlene Hirschfelder, Mary Gloyne Byler, Jon C. Stott, and Hap Gilliland, among others, also proved invaluable. Dedicated to guiding teachers in choosing books that reflect thoughts, beliefs, and experiences of American Indians past and present, these publications are listed below.
This bibliography focuses primarily on materials for elementary and secondary students, although it has grown to include publications of interest to the general public. We have indicated broad reading level categories: lower elementary, upper elementary, secondary, and adult (used when a book contains sexually explicit material or language). Sections are organized by culture area and tribe, and are further divided into non-fiction and fiction, biographies, and traditional stories. Readers will note that some sections are much longer; some cultures are more widely represented in the available literature. We have included several scholarly works that contain maps, timelines, or other information (usually cited in the annotation) useful for teaching . The bibliography concludes with an author and title index.
We have made an intensive effort to review books published by both large and small presses---especially those committed to American Indian authors. Many excellent publications by native writers, sometimes from little known publishers, provide new perspectives on the values, struggles, and aspirations of native people, or relate traditional stories that vividly describe the creation of the world or the attributes of living creatures.
Finally, the bibliography contains many books that we found to be questionable in content and quality---examples of the misinformation and stereotypes that are, regrettably, found in many books on American Indians for both children and adults. Balance is an important factor to consider in reviewing books. We found that some books that were strong in certain aspects were weak in others. For example, a well-written book might contain poor or inappropriate illustrations. Or some books that are considered classics reflect attitudes and language of their time, which may be considered inappropriate or offensive today. Including the disappointing with the excellent provides an opportunity for teachers and students to learn the difference between poorly researched and carelessly written books and those that provide accurate and culturally sensitive material.
The questions listed below provided the framework for our evaluations of books on American Indians. They were developed and adapted from our readings and from sources listed below. We encourage readers to consult these and other sources to develop their own methods of evaluation.
- Is the book's cultural information accurate?
- Is the historical information accurate?
- Does the book contain accurate or preferred word usage and spellings?
- Are loaded or offensive words used, e.g. "squaw," "brave," "primitive"?
- Does the book lump all American Indian people together rather than referring to individual groups or tribes? Are tribal differences recognized?
- Does the book promote or present a stereotypical "Hollywood" version of American Indians?
- Do the illustrations depict stereotypical images of American Indians?
- Does the book refer to American Indians as though they belong to the past? If so, is it made clear that this is intentional?
- Do American Indians initiate actions based on their own values and judgements rather than only reacting to outside factors?
- Are Indians presented as stoic, one-dimensional, unfeeling characters or as real human beings with strengths/weaknesses, joys, and sorrows?
- When the dominant group is non-Indian, is that group always shown in a more favorable light?
- Is equal respect shown to male and female roles?
- Are American Indian groups presented as heirs to rich historical traditions going back to pre-Contact days?
- Are American Indian groups/nations presented as dynamic, evolving communities that can adapt to new conditions and control their own destinies?
- Are American Indian contributions to Western civilization recognized?
- Are claims that a particular person occupies a position of leadership in political or ceremonial affairs validated by most members of the claimants' culture?
- Does the book cite sources for its facts?
It is important to seek out books that are historically and culturally accurate. This can be a complex issue. Cultures are constantly changing and no one person or source can speak for an entire group. History is interpretive and sometimes subjective depending on the perspective and methods of those recording it. Cultural perspectives vary widely on subjects such as religion and cosmology, origin and creation, and warfare and other aspects of history. For example, scientists support the evidence has
shown that the ancestors of American Indians arrived in what is now Alaska from Asia thousands of years ago, yet Indian cultures often have very different beliefs about their origins---many believe that they originated on this continent. Many books reflect a single perspective on complex ideas or events, or contain at least some historical or cultural inaccuracies, either in text or illustrations. In some cases, a book containing errors can still be a useful teaching resource if parents, teachers, and librarians are aware of its errors and are careful to avoid perpetuating misinformation.
Stereotypical representations of American Indians are ubiquitous---in the media, in toys, and in books, many of which are found in school libraries and classrooms. Common examples of stereotypes we encountered are described below.
***Indians share a common culture, language, and/or physical type.
On the contrary, there is wide diversity among American Indian peoples. Tribes have distinct histories, cultures, beliefs, languages, and physical characteristics. However, some books oversimplify, combine disparate traits, or fail to identify the cultural affiliation of their characters. For example, American Indian characters are often shown wearing feathered headdresses, hunting buffalo, living in tipis, and riding horses---that is with characteristics of Plains Indians that many people associate with all Indians. This image has been perpetuated for decades by the press, advertising, and Hollywood. The typical "Hollywood Indian" might also be a one-dimensional (either good or bad) character who uses broken English, wears a buckskin breechcloth and a feather in his hair, and expresses little if any emotion. He is more an "Indian" than he is a Sioux, a Comanche, or a Cheyenne.
This tendency to combine characteristics or discount differences is also prevalent in descriptions and illustrations of American Indian material culture. Some authors fail to research their subjects, preferring, for example, to show their characters traveling in birchbark canoes while living in tipis, or painting Southwestern-style pots while sitting beside totem poles.
***Indian cultures are dead or dying.
Often the most subtle stereotypes are the most insidious. Many books, both fiction and non-fiction, are written in the past tense, perpetuating the idea that all Indian cultures are of the past, have died out, or are almost extinct. One variation of this stereotype is writing that concentrates on pre-reservation Indian life, with no recognition of the vital, flourishing, and constantly changing cultures that exist today. Ironically, many times, even in otherwise well-written books, cultures are described as being "destroyed," or having their "spirits crushed."
Fortunately, in recent years, many books have focussed on contemporary Indian cultures---expressing their vitality, resilience, and independence. These books describe the gains made by native people in revitalizing their own traditions and demonstrate the challenges of living in a country where European values predominate.
***Indians are primitive and incapable of initiating action or controlling their own fate.
In many books with both Indian and non-Indian characters, it is often the non-Indians who rescue the Indians, teach the Indians "superior" technology, or "save the day." Indian cultures were thriving for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of Europeans, but this is rarely acknowledged, especially in books for children.
***Indians possess spiritual powers and a magical connection to the natural world.
It is ironic given high rates of mortality, disease, and poverty, and the lack of educational opportunity experienced by a large number of native people that Indian culture is often romanticized by non-Indians. New-agers and spiritual hucksters, with limited understanding and no authority have tried to co-opt and exploit aspects of native spirituality for their own gains. Some of the books we have reviewed, products of misplaced ignorance and idealism, insult and demean native ceremonial spiritual values.
Many books contain loaded words that reflect bias or prejudice. "Squaw," "primitive," "buck," "brave," and "papoose" are examples of words that American Indians consider degrading, insulting, patronizing, or generalizing. Books often describe "battles" won by U.S. soldiers but "massacres" carried out by Indians. In addition, Indian warriors are often "fierce," "cruel," or "bloodthirsty," while U.S. Army soldiers or cavalry are "courageous," "daring," or "heroic." These stereotypes are often reinforced in illustrations showing, for example, Indians sneaking up to a homesteader's cabin or an Indian grasping a pioneer woman's neck and wielding a tomahawk.
A Note About This Bibliography
Many, many books on American Indians are being published today, and it is impossible to review them all. By the time this bibliography is printed, hundreds of other books will be on bookstore and library shelves, and some we have reviewed may be out-of-print. Our hope is that this bibliography will assist teachers and parents in making more informed choices for their students and children, whether they choose titles from our list or do their own evaluations of books we haven't seen.
In the annotations, we have indicated "no tribe identified," when the cultural affiliation of a story is not stated. We have given the author's cultural affiliation when it is noted in the book, however, publications often do not include this information. The terms "Native American," "Indian," and "American Indian" are individual preferences and all acceptable. For this and other cultural word usages and spellings, however, we have followed the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians , which uses the term "American Indian."
Our reviews note books' strengths and weaknesses. Books that we found exceptional were given a star, indicating that they are highly recommended; those we found questionable were given a question mark, indicating that they are not recommended. Books we found to be acceptable but not exceptional---for instance, books with accurate information but a cumbersome writing style or format, or books with beautiful and sensitive illustrations but a lack of substantial information---were given no marks. We realize, of course, that all reviews, including those in this bibliography, are subjective.
Recommended Reference Series:
Handbook of North American Indians. Sturtevant, William C. general editor. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
An encyclopedia summarizing knowledge about all Native peoples north of Mesoamerica, including cultures, languages, history, prehistory, and human biology. A standard reference work for anthropologist, historians, students, and the general public. The following volumes are now available: Volume 8: California, 1978; Volume 15: Northeast, 1979; Volume 9: Southwest (Prehistory and Pueblos), 1980; Volume 10: Southwest (non-Puebloan Peoples); Volume 6: Subarctic, 1981; Volume 5: Arctic, 1984; Volume 11: Great Basin, 1986; Vol. 4: History of Indian-White Relations, 1988; Volume 7: Northwest Coast, 1990; others to follow until 20 volumes are completed. Handbook of North American Indians. Sturtevant, William C. general editor. Volume 8: California, 1978; Volume 15: Northeast, 1979; Volume 9: Southwest (Prehistory and Pueblos), 1980; Volume 10: Southwest (non-Puebloan Peoples); Volume 6: Subarctic, 1981; Volume 5: Arctic, 1984; Volume 11: Great Basin, 1986; Vol. 4: History of Indian-White Relations, 1988; Volume 7: Northwest Coast, 1990; Volume 17: Languages; others to follow until 20 volumes are completed.
Some of the books in the following series were reviewed in this bibliography:
Indians of North America , General Editor Frank W. Porter III. Chelsea House Publishers, Broomall, PA.
Over 50 titles available on American Indian tribes as well as on specific topics such as The Archaeology of North America and Literatures of the American Indian, written by scholars. For a catalog, write: Chelsea House Publishers, Dept. CB2, P.O. Box 914, 1974 Sproul Rd., Suite 400, Broomall, PA 19008-0914. Also Chelsea House Publishers' Junior Library of American Indians.
Alvin Josephy's Biographical Series on American Indians. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: SilverBurdett Press.
Alvin Josephy, a noted historian, introduces each biography by explaining the purpose of the series, which is to help the reader understand how the Indians looked at the world.
The Anthropology Outreach Office distributes numerous bibliographies of scholarly publications on Amercan Indian history, culture, and the arts as well as a precollege Teacher's Packet on American Indians. To order the free teacher's packet or a listing of available educational and informational materials, write to: Anthropology Outreach Office, NHB MRC 112, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
American Indian Libraries Newsletter . Quarterly publication that contains reviews of books for children and adults. Subscription rates: $25 (libraries, institutions), $10 (individuals), $5 (students). Write: Joan Howland, Law Library, University of Minnesota, 229 19th Ave., South, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Byler, Mary Gloyne. American Indian Authors for Young Readers, A Selected Bibliography . New York: Association on American Indian Affairs, 1973. (out of print)
"Checklist," Meeting Ground , Biannual Newsletter of the D'Arcy McNickle Center, Issue 23, Summer 1990. Chicago, IL: The Newberry Library. ("Checklist" was based on criteria provided by Center advisor, Cheryl Metoyer-Duran, UCLA School of Library and Information Sciences.)
Gilliland, Hap. Indian Children's Books . Billings, MT: Council for Indian Education, 1980. (out of print)
"'I' Is Not for Indian: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People," compiled by Naomi Caldwell-Wood and Lisa A. Mitten. Bibliography and guide available by writing to Lisa Mitten, University of Pittsburgh, 27 Hillman Library, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.
Heinrich, June Sark. "Native Americans: What Not to Teach," Unlearning "Indian" Stereotypes, A Teaching Unit for Elementary Teachers and Children's Librarians . New York, NY: The Racism and Sexism Resource Center for Educators, a Division of The Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1977.
Hirschfelder, Arlene B. American Indian and Eskimo Authors . New York: Association on American Indian Affairs, 1973. (out of print). Also "Unlearning Indian Stereotypes," Halcyon/1990: A Journal of the Humanities , vol. 12. Nevada Humanities Committee and the University of Nevada Press.
Kuipers, Barbara J. American Indian Reference Books for Children and Young Adults . Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1991.
Slapin, Beverly, and Seale, Doris. Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publisher, 1992.
Stott, Jon C. Native Americans in Children's Literature . Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1995.
Aliki; Aliki, illus. Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians . New York, NY: Harper C Collins; 1986. 40 pages. (elementary).
This simply written description on the importance of corn for American Indians includes information on the origins of corn, how it is cultivated, and how it grows. The book's text and illustrations describe and illustrate "Indians" in a very general way, with no tribe indicated. The book states that the earliest evidence of corn is "more than 5,000 years." In actuality the date is 5,200 BC--over 7,000 years ago.
Ancona, George; Ancona, George, photog. Powwow . San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers; 1993. 45 pages. (elementary)
This photo essay on Crow Fair, an annual pan-Indian powwow held in Montana, and the biggest powwow in North America contains beautiful color photographs of participants and events that enhance the text, which describes the activities at the powwow.
Arnold, Caroline. Hewett, Richard, photographer. Stories in Stone: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans . Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin. 1996. 48 pp. (secondary)
This book focuses on the abundant rock art (also called petroglyphs) on the canyon walls of the Coso Range in the Mojave Desert in eastern California. Full-color photographs accompany the text that describes how petroglyphs are made, who made them, and why. Includes a list of locations to view rock art, a glossary, and an index.
Artman, John; Volpe, Nancee, illus. Indians: An Activity Book . Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc.; 1981. 64 pages. (upper elementary) ?
Designed for teachers, this book contains a variety of units and activities on American Indians including Indian chiefs, words and place names, sign language, games, and finding and collecting Indian artifacts. The information is presented as applying to all Indians rather than specific groups or tribes, resulting in inaccuracies. For example, the author states that "Many tribes had what is known as a Winter Count" rather than specifying that this is a tradition only among some Plains groups. The section on collecting Indian artifacts does not suggest contacting professional archaeologists before removing anything from a site. There is no information or activities that focus on contemporary American Indians.
Ashabranner, Brent; Conklin, Paul photog. To Live in Two Worlds: American Indian Youth Today. New York, NY: Dodd Mead; 1984. 145 pages. (secondary) *.
An examination of how young American Indians feel about their future, of the special problems they face in the 1980's, and of the opportunities open to them. Through interviews with high school and college students and those just beginning their careers, the book describes the difficulties of fitting into the white world and the importance of pride in one's cultural traditions for a positive self-image. Examples of Indian educational institutions focused on are: the Navajo Academy in Farmington, Arizona; the Rough Rock Demonstration School; and the Zuni Alternative Learning Center. Lengthy quotes retain the quality of first-person accounts. Good black and white photographs.
Behrens, June; Tuch, David, photog. Pow-wow . Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1983. 32 pages. (Festivals and Holidays). (lower elementary).
The book demonstrates the importance of the powwow as a major social event among diverse American Indian groups, uniting them in a revival of Native pride. The young reader is guided through a powwow by an Indian boy from an unidentified tribe. A thumbnail sketch of the various culture regions represented at the powwow and the history of the arrival of non-Indians and dispossession are added. Many color photographs illustrate the book. Unfortunately, no explanatory captions are included to help the reader identify cultural affiliations.
Bierhorst, John ed.; Brierly, Louise illus. Lightning Inside You and other Native American Riddles. New York, NY: William Morrow & Company; 1992. 104 pages. (elementary).
This collection of riddles from 36 American Indian tribes should appeal to young readers. To help with the answers, (provided at the foot of each page) the riddles are arranged by subject matter and in some cases the illustrations (black and white) provide clues. Includes an index and original sources, which are cited along with a brief note on the tribe's location and language.
Brafford, C. J. (Oglala Sioux); Thom, Laine. Dancing Colors: Paths of Native American Women . San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books; 1992. 120 pages. (secondary).
This book contains stunning full-page, full-color photographs of over 100 museum objects that were a part of traditional daily life for American Indian women. These photographs are supplemented with commentary by the authors. The retelling of four legends illustrates the variety of Indian women's roles. Includes an index to the illustrations and a bibliography.
Brown, Fern G. American Indian Science: A New Look at Old Cultures . Twenty-First Century Books/Henry Holt and Co. 1997. 78 pp. (upper elementary, secondary)
This book covers the contributions of Native North and South Americans to farming; medicine and healing; architecture; math and astronomy; and tools, weapons, and technology. For example, Native Americans had a cure for scurvy, invented writing and calendar systems, and created many uses for the latex extracted from the rubber plant. This informative book also includes a bibliography, a glossary and index, list of organizations, audiovisuals, museums and sites, and Internet resources on Native American cultures.
Champagne, Duane, ed. The Native North American Almanac: A Reference Work on Native North Americans in the United States and Canada . Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc.; 1994. 1275 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
A comprehensive work that provides historical and contemporary information on Native North Americans in the U.S. and Canada. Canadian and U.S. authors, many native, have contributed to the wide range of topics covering law and legislation, activism, environment, religion, urbanization and non-reservation populations, arts and literature, media, health, education, and the economy. References for further reading and directories run throughout the book, providing such information as Native American place names, tribal collections, major museums, Native newspapers, cultural events, and Native American films and videos. Two hundred pages of biographies of prominent Native North Americans are included, as well as a glossary.
Churchill, Ward ed. Critical Issues in Native North America (IWGIA Document No. 62). December 1988/January 1989 ed. Copenhagen, Denmark: The International Secretariat of IWGIA (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs); 1990. 197 pages. (secondary).
A collection of essays by native peoples relating the problems and issues facing the indigenous nations of the U.S. and Canada. These issues include loss of native lands and resources, the problems with cultural assimilation policies, and native resistence to these governement imposed legislations.
DeCesare, Ruth. Myth, Music and Dance of the American Indian . Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; 1988. 51 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.
A teacher's resource book on American Indian music that includes songs representing 21 tribes, information on each tribe represented, an annotated reading list, map of Indian culture areas, instructions for making American Indian musical instruments, and a student workbook with questions based on the information presented. Includes an audio cassette with recordings of the songs.
Feldmann, Susan ed. The Storytelling Stone: Traditional Native American Myths and Tales. Reprint of 1965 ed. New York, NY: Dell Publishing; 1991. 291 pages. (secondary).
Sources are cited for this collection of 52 legends from 31 tribes. The legends are grouped under creation myths, trickster tales, and hero, supernatural, and folktales. The language used in the myths is simple and readable. The extensive introduction, discussing myth types and their differing manifestations in the various tribes, seems more suited for college-level studies. A bibliography is included.
Fichter, George S. American Indian Music and Musical Instruments . New York, NY: David McKay Co.; 1978. 115 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This description of American Indian music and its place in Indian culture discusses war chants, hunting songs, lullabies, courting songs, music for curing illness, and music for sowing crops. The songs are not placed into the broader context of the oral literature of the American Indians, which includes stories, speeches, narratives, and ceremonies. The author makes the points that Native populations are culturally diverse and that there was never a "typical" North American Indian, and dispels the stereotype of Indians as expressionless and without emotion unless on the warpath. Their deeper feelings are clearly expressed in their songs and music. The book includes words and melodies for some songs, as well as instructions and diagrams for making a variety of musical instruments.
Green, Richard G. (Mohawk); Green, Richard G., illus. A Wundoa Book: "I'm Number One" . Sacramento, CA: Ricara Features; 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983. 30 pages. (elementary/ secondary).
Whimsical and off-beat humor characterizes this first book by a Mohawk writer and cartoonist. This comic book features the adventures of Wundoa, a blind horse, who can communicate his thoughts to people. Could appeal to all ages.
Hall, Moss. Go Indians! Stories of the Great Indian Athletes of the Carlisle School . Ward Ritchie Press; 1971. 100 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This work is a collection of the histories of successful Indian athletes who played for the Carlisle School, an Indian boarding school founded in Carlisle, Pennsylvania by Lieutenant Richard Pratt of the U. S. Cavalry. Included are the stories of Charles Bender, Jim Thorpe, and Louis Tewanima, as well as that of the winning 1907 Carlisle football team. Engagingly written, this book will entertain as well as educate students and sports enthusiasts alike. Illustrated with black and white archival photographs, the book includes an epilogue containing information on the school and its history.
Hausman, Gerald. Turtle Island Alphabet: A Lexicon of Native American Symbols and Culture . New York, NY: St. Martin's Press; 1992. 204 pages. (secondary) *.
The author gathered this collection of American Indian stories and poems illustrated with 150 photographs and drawings in an attempt to "isolate some of the major recurring themes of native life, and [to try] to explain their symbolism." The book moves eloquently through the alphabet, each letter being represented by an object and theme relevant to American Indian culture (for example, arrow, bead, eagle, fetish) and each described through a combination of text, myth, poetry, and illustrations. A unique treatment, beautifully written and presented.
Haviland, Virginia ed.; Strugnell, Ann illus. North American Legends. New York, NY: Philomel Books; 1979. 214 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
A collection of myths, legends, and tales from North America, including stories of American Indians, of black Americans, of European immigrants, and "indigenous American tall tales." The informative introduction explains the origins of each type of story, the cultures from which these stories arise, and how these stories have become an integral part of American literature. Also described is how stories from different cultures are transmitted and combined to create variations on the original tales, which include elements of each culture. Includes notes on the origin and significance of each story and a comprehensive bibliography for further reference.
Hill Sr., Richard W. (Tuscarora).; Mitchell, Nancy Marie; New, Lloyd. Creativity Is Our Tradition: Three Decades of Contemporary Indian Art at the Institute of American Indian Arts . Santa Fe, NM: Institute of American Indian Arts Press; 1992. 175 pages. (secondary).
This exhibition catalog was produced for the opening of the new museum of the Institute of American Indian Arts on the Institute's 30th anniversary in 1992. Lavishly illustrated with color and black and white photographs, it includes a history of the Institute and features essays on the roles of tradition and change in Indian art. Interviews with individual artists are included.
Hirschfelder, Arlene; Montao, Martha Kreipe. The Native American Almanac: A Portrait of Native America Today . New York, NY: Prentice Hall General Reference; 1993. 341 pages. (secondary) .
This detailed reference work on American Indians focuses especially on their legal and social status as shaped by fluctuating government policies. The book opens with a comprehensive history of the U.S. government's dealings with Indians. This theme is expanded in subsequent chapters on Supreme Court decisions, treaties, the history and operation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal governments, and American Indian education. Chapters on religion, sports, and artists cover both traditional and modern practices. Overviews of American Indian journalism, American Indians in the military, and today's economic and employment situation are included. Five appendices list: tribes by state; reservations, rancherias, colonies and historic Indian areas; a chronology of Indian treaties; Native landmarks; and a chronology of American Indian history from 1492-1992. Photographs, charts and maps illustrate the book. Bibliography and index.
Hofsinde, Robert (Gray-Wolf); Hofsinde, Robert (Gray-Wolf), illus. Indian Hunting . New York, NY: William Morrow & Company; 1962. 96 pages. (elementary).
This is a concise, general guide to the traditional hunting techniques and practices of American Indians. Animals such as deer, buffalo, moose, rabbits, and whales are discussed, focusing on their importance to American Indian survival, as well as the methods and weapons used to hunt and kill these animals. Traditional ceremonies and customs associated with hunting are also explored. Black-and-white illustrations.
Hofsinde, Robert (Gray-Wolf); Robert Hofsinde, illus. Indian Sign Language . Reprint of 1956 ed. New York, NY: William Morrow and Co.; 1960. 95 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This reference book on the sign language of Indians of the Plains and adjacent regions to the West includes signs for people, objects, ideas, numbers, months, and Indian names and totems. Black-and-white drawings illustrate the signs for most words. Introduction and index.
Hutchins, Alma R. Indian Herbology of North America . 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Shambala Publications Inc.; 1991. 382 pages. (secondary).
The main purpose of this encyclopedic listing of 205 North American herbs is to "to attract the attention of general readers and professionals...to the scientific and practical value of Indian heritage." Each entry gives the alternative common name(s) for the herb, its geographic origin and present-day range. The medicinal uses of the herb in different parts of the world are listed, noting the part of the plant used, dosages, and various applications. The introduction briefly discusses the history of herbology, traditional American Indian diet and medicine, and compares contemporary herbology in North America, Russia, and the Orient. Some of the herbs are illustrated with black and white drawings. An annotated bibliography includes a list of American Indian publications.
Jacobson, Daniel. Indians of North America . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1983. 88 pages. (A Reference First Book). (upper elementary).
A simple reference book on tribal names, biographical sketches, and terms relating to American Indians, organized alphabetically in "dictionary" format. The definitions vary in quality and length. Black and white photographs and illustrations.
Jeunesse, Gallimard, Fuhr, Ute, and Sautai, Raoul. Fuhr, Ute and Sautai, Raoul, illustrators. Native Americans . Scholastic, A First Discovery Book, 1994. 29 pp. (lower elementary)
The most appealing aspect of this book is its attractive illustrations and color overlays. The book gives a brief overview of Native North America and the nature of contact with Whites. While the book states that the "Plains Indians used to live in tepees," it does not provide images of American Indians today. Glossy paper with beautiful color illustrations.
Kavasch, E. Barrie, ed. Dyrud, Chris Wold, Foley, Tim, Zarins, Joyce Audy, illus. Earth Maker's Lodge, Native American Folklore, Activities and Foods . Peterborough, NH. Cobblestone Publishing Inc. 1994. 159 pages. (upper elementary)
This collection of traditional tales, historical sketches, games, puzzles, recipes, and activities are taken from material previously published in Cobblestone , Focus , and Odyssey magazines. The items are grouped by subject and by geographic area--dreams, spirituality, ancient cultures, creation legends, Southwest, California, Northeast, Southeast, Plains, Arctic, Hawaii, projects, games, and recipes. The stories and articles, most of them about a page long, are well-written, and the recipes and games sound like fun. The introduction states that the book "is designed to inform our caring and sharing of nature...and our own sensory awareness." Although the editor seems to respect that aspects of Native American spirituality are closed to outsiders, some of the book's projects verge on the questionable, such as making a spirit plate or a medicine bag. The significance of these spiritual objects is explained, and a respectful attitude is encouraged. Nevertheless, such use of spiritual objects in a classroom context necessarily trivializes them. Non-Indian adoption of aspects of their spirituality is offensive to some Native Americans. A useful glossary lists tribes alphabetically, providing their location and characteristics. The index is well organized by tribe and culture area. Black and white illustrations, map.
La Pierre, Yvette. Sloan, Lois, illus. Native American Rock Art: Messages from the Past . Charlottesville, VA: Thomasson-Grant, Inc.; 1994, 48 pages. (upper elementary/secondary)*
This excellent overview of Native American rock art pictures and designs discusses the techniques used in their creation, their possible meanings, and the ways archaeologists study them to determine their age and purpose. The book closes with a discussion of the natural processes (weathering) that destroy rock art and deals with the question of vandalism. The young reader is given excellent suggestions as to how to look at rock art in order to appreciate and derive benefit from it. Some of the text may prove difficult for pre-high school. Includes a list of publicly owned sites that contain rock art, and a glossary. Attractive full color illustrations and photographs.
Lavitt, Edward; McDowell, Robert E.; Huffman, Bunny Pierce ,. illus. Nihancan's Feast of Beaver: Animal Tales of the North American Indians. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press; 1990. 120 pages. (elementary).
A collection of short American Indian animal tales drawn from various tribes, representing nine culture areas, on themes such as creation, how things got to be the way they are, great floods, the killing of monsters, and how one should act (or not act). An "Introduction for the Adult Reader" explains the format and importance of storytelling in American Indian culture. Sources for the tales are cited, and a bibliography and index are included.
Lippard, Lucy R., ed. Partial Recall . New York, NY: The New Press; 1992. 199 pages. (secondary).
This anthology is composed of essays by 12 Indian artists and writers, each responding to a photographic image of American Indians chosen as a "point of departure for their original, historical, political, or autobiographical essays." The photographs, ranging from family snapshots to archival images, are used as a vehicle for discussing the influence photographs have had in the formation of American Indian identity. The author states: "This book is an attempt to peel away from these pictures the myths of various 'discoveries,' 'conquests,' and `frontiers' that have constructed our tragic mutual history, and to put the photos back in the hands of the subjects." An additional 60 photographs are included following the essays. The author's introduction includes useful discussion on images and stereotyping.
Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Survival Skills . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1990. 64 pages. (upper elementary) *.
This book gives an overview of the raw materials and skills (methods) utilized by American Indians in their adaptations to the environment. Topics covered include shelter, cordage, weapons, fishing, plants, food preparation, preserving meat, finding water, clothing, transportation, and medicinal plants. Illustrated with color photographs, prints and drawings. Includes a glossary and a bibliography.
Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Medicine People . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1990. 64 pages. (A First Book). (upper elementary) *.
This easy-to-read book explores traditional Indian medicine people and healing practices. Topics include medicine societies, such as the Midewiwin of the Ojibwa and the Iroquois False Face Society; medical tools and practices; choosing and training of medicine people; and Indian medicine today. Illustrated with color and black and white photographs and paintings, with an index, glossary, and bibliography.
Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Tribal Chiefs . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1992. 62 pages. (elementary).
This description of the characteristics and roles of past and contemporary American Indian tribal chiefs. focuses on four prominent figures: Tecumseh, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, and Wilma Mankiller. Illustrated with photographs and paintings of American Indian chiefs by American artists. Includes a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an index.
Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Sign Language . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1992. 64 pages. (elementary).
A guide to the sign language that was used by tribes of the Great Plains, and is "still used, primarily at intertribal powwows, or ceremonial festivals in North America." A basic vocabulary of signs is presented, covering topics such as asking questions, the family, counting, nature, weather, food, and emotions. The information on pictographs and petroglyphs incorrectly states that "each picture stood for a word." The author's comment---"As you start using Plains Indian sign language, you may begin to sense the special relationship North American Indians feel with Mother Earth"---exemplifies a romanticized attitude toward American Indians.
Lucero, Faustina H.; Pearson, Jeanne, illus. Little Indians' ABC . Fayetteville, GA: ODDO Publishing Inc.; 1974. 32 pages. (elementary).
This children's guide to the alphabet uses American Indian-related words and illustrations. The brightly colored drawings depict Indian children involved in various activities. The identification of each child's tribal affiliation would have been more useful had it accompanied the appropriate illustration. Use of the typical "I" for Indian detracts from the book's effort to depict diversity in Indian cultures, and the depiction of boys wearing warbonnets is inaccurate.
Maestro, Betsy and Maestro, Giulio. The Discovery of the Americas . New York, NY: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books; 1991. 48 pages. (elementary).
The book discusses the peopling of the New World via the Bering Sea Strait and the subsequent voyages, both historical and mythological, to America, for example, by Vikings, by European navigators, by the Phoenicians and Saint Brendan of Ireland. Includes a table of dates and short synopsis of early civilizations. Full-color illustrations.
Mails, Thomas E. Secret Native American Pathways: A Guide to Inner Peace . Tulsa, OK: Council Oaks Books; 1988. 301 pages. (secondary) ?
This book presents brief descriptions of the spiritual practices of the Hopi, Cherokee, Apache, and Sioux, followed by a step-by-step guide explaining how to adapt these pathways to contemporary times to achieve inner peace. The author, a Lutheran pastor and writer, claims to be revealing "rituals long kept secret" and warns readers not to let the "seeming foolishness of some of the Native American ways hold you back." This book reduces American Indian religions into a set of instructions that can be packaged, bought, and followed to buy inner peace.
Martini, Terri. Indians . Reprint of 1954 ed. Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1982. 46 pages. (Friskey, Margaret New True Books). (lower elementary) ?
This book describes in simple language the traditional Indian lifeways of the Northwest Coast, Plains, Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast regions. In attempting to cover so much information in so few pages, the text oversimplifies and generalizes. Complex events such as the potlatch---described out of context---become meaningless and frivolous. Condescension to American Indians and to young readers is apparent in such statements as: "The Indians thought that strange people living under the ground could make it rain"; or the Iroquois "thought they were chasing away evil spirits that caused sickness." Many of the illustrations are misleading by their placement in unrelated parts of the text. e/?/gen.
Mather, Christine. Native America: Arts, Traditions, and Celebrations . New York, NY: Clarkson Potter Publishers; 1990. 240 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) *.
This extensive and beautiful photographic collection depicts traditional American Indian arts, culture, and ceremonies. Contemporary color as well as vintage black and white photographs are used to illustrate the techniques and products of American Indian artistry. Music, dance, and ritual are explored, and the process of training young American Indians in traditional arts and ceremonies is described. Includes an index and a guide to various Native resources.
Matthews, Leonard J.; Campion, Geoffrey et. al., illus. Soldiers . Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publications, Inc.; 1989. 29 pages. (The Wild West in American History). (upper elementary) ?
This book summarizes some of the U. S. Army's battles with the Indians during the 1860s, 70s, and 80s, told from a non-Indian perspective. For example, "When the Indians of the American West went on the warpath against the white men, the task of subduing the warring tribes fell to the U. S. Army. The role of the soldiers was similar to that of a police force." "Their new enemies [the Indians] were tough, ferocious guerilla fighters who swooped down on settlements in lightning raids, burning and killing." Cartoon-style illustrations reinforce stereotypical images of Indian warriors. Includes archival photographs and a chronological summary of the Indian wars.
Matthiessen, Peter. Indian Country . New York, NY: Penguin Books; 1984. 338 pages. (secondary) *.
Historical information is provided as background for discussion of ten recent battles in the "New Indian Wars," representative of many others being fought by American Indians today in which non-Indians have encroached upon Indian lands and the subsequent confrontations that have ensued. The author calls the book "...essentially a journal of travels and encounters with Indian people over the past decade. My hope is that these Indian voices, eloquent and bitter, humorous and sad, will provide what history and statistics cannot, a sense of that profound `life way' which could illuminate our own dispirited consumer culture." Combined with thorough research, these personal experiences are related in well-written and absorbing prose and include contemporary examples from the Miccosukee, Hopi, Cherokee, Mohawk, Yurok, Karuk, Lakota, Chumash, Paiute, Shoshone, Ute, and Navajo.
Mayne, William. Drift . New York, NY: Peter Smith; 1992 (Delacorte Press 1985), 166 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
In this wilderness adventure story, Rafe Considine, a young white boy, and an Indian girl, Tawena (no tribe indicated), get lost in the forest outside of their village. Rafe is captured by two Indian women who eventually return him to his family. Meanwhile, the women teach him to survive in the forest and to respect the land. The story is of the boy's growing fondness and appreciation for the women and their culture.
Mayo, Gretchen Will; Mayo, Gretchen Will, illus. Earthmaker's Tales: North American Indian Stories About Earth Happenings . New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company; 1989. 81 pages. (elementary and secondary).
Sources are cited for each of the tales in this collection of Indian legends about the origins of natural phenomena such as thunder and tornadoes. Each tale is preceded by an introduction giving information about the tribe, and comparing earth legends of various tribes. The introduction to the book indicates that stories were shared from tribe to tribe, and that some stories included aspects of European folktales. A glossary and bibliography are included.
Mayo, Gretchen Will; Mayo, Gretchen Will, illus. Star Tales: North American Indian Stories About the Stars . New York, NY: Walker Publishing Company; 1987. 87 pages. (upper elementary).
Sources are cited for these fifteen tales about the constellations. Each clearly-written tale is introduced with information about the tribe and compared with star legends of other tribes. Designs in the book, not specified by tribe, are based on motifs found on Indian clothing, shelters, or rock drawings. Includes a glossary.
McLuhan, T. C. Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of Indian Existence . New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 1971. 185 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
Edward Curtis's early 20th-century photographs of American Indians are accompanied by passages taken from speeches and writings of Indians made between the 16th and 20th centuries. Many of the photographs and words are by now familiar classics but, as the author describes them, "too vital to leave out." The book seems a bit dated as there is no discussion of Curtis's interpretations (sometimes questionable) of his subjects and his tendency to romanticize Indians. Still, the powerful and captivating words and pictures speak for themselves with no editorial comment from the author.
Murdoch, David. Freed, Stanly A., consultant; Gardiner, Lynton, photog. North American Indian . Alfred A. Knopf in association with the American Museum of Natural History. Eyewitness Books. 1995. 64 pp. (upper elementary, secondary)
This richly illustrated volume provides short, concise descriptions of prehistoric and historic Native American groups that lived in the different geographic regions throughout North America. Every page contains color photographs of objects from museum collections to reveal the important components in the daily and ritual lives of these people. Some topics such as the Sun Dance, potlatch, and medicine and the spirit world are given separate chapters. The book ends with "Modern Times" to demonstrate how American Indian cultures have prevailed despite the odds they have had to face. Contains an index.
Nabokov, Peter ed. Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-1992. New York,NY: Viking; 1991. 474 pages. (secondary) *.
A compendium of documents recording Indian-White relations over the past 500 years, this book differs from other historical anthologies in that the story is told from the Indian perspective. The editor has included over 100 accounts, taken from a wide range of sources including traditional narratives, speeches, Indian autobiographies, reservation newspapers, personal interviews and letters, and includes a thoughtful introduction to each of the chapters. The book is especially strong in its documentation of 20th century Amercian Indian history. This is a unique and powerful book.
Nabokov, Peter; Easton, Robert. Native American Architecture . New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1989. 431 pages. (secondary) *.
This comprehensive description of Native building traditions examines how different forces---economic, ecological, social, technological, historical, religious---contributed to Indian architecture. The book is meticulously researched and documented, but written for the general reader. Includes a useful chart of Native tribes and language groups, and a culture area map, as well as a bibliography, glossary, and an index. Illustrated with hundreds of black and white archival photographs and drawings. This book is an excellent source of information for students and teachers alike.
Nashone; Smith, Louise, illus. Where Indians Live: American Indian Houses . Sacramento, CA: Sierra Oaks Publishing Company; 1989. 38 pages. (lower elementary).
This is a simple introduction to Indian homes, with brief descriptions of the pueblo, igloo, hogan, wickiup, bark house, wigwam, longhouse, tipi, and contemporary homes. Black and white drawings illustrate the buildings, and photographs show historic and contemporary people. Includes a glossary. e/gen.
Niethammer, Carolyn. Daughters of the Earth: The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women . New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.; 1977. 281 pages. (secondary) *.
An interesting, well-written and well-researched description of American Indian women based on historical records and recollections by contemporary Indian women. Topics include childbirth experiences, childhood, coming-of-age, marriage, women's economic roles, women and power, and women and war. Illustrated with archival photographs. Includes bibliographies and an index.
Niethammer, Carolyn; Thomson, Jenean, illus. American Indian Food and Lore . New York, NY: Collier Books; 1974. 191 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This book contains over 150 recipes based on wild plants utilized by Indians in the southwestern United States. Fifty desert plants are described and illustrated with line drawings and listed alphabetically with information on habitat, historical significance, and use in tribal cooking. The book is well-researched and detailed, with much useful ethnobotanical information accompanying the recipes. A bibliography and an index are included.
Parker, Arthur C. (Seneca) The Indian How Book . Reprint of 1931 ed. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.; 1975. 335 pages. (secondary) ?
A book that attempts to explain "all the strange things in Indian lore you have read and heard about," this collection was originally published in 1927, and is reprinted here in unabridged form, with no contemporary introduction or interpretation. The book includes such inappropriate sections as "How Indians Smelled," "How Bad Were the Indians?," and "How Civilized Are the Indians To-day?" Although the book does contain some useful information on traditional hunting, arts, and survival skills, most of the material is presented with stereotypes representative of turn-of-the-century views on American Indians. The author generalizes by using the term "Indian," rather than identifying customs as belonging to specific tribes. Illustrated with black and white line drawings.
Red Hawk, Richard (Wyandot). ABC's, The American Indian Way . Sacramento, CA: Sierra Oaks Publishing Company; 1988. 53 pages. (lower elementary).
This ABC book on American Indians would be difficult for the lower elementary children for whom it is intended. No pronunciation guide is provided, though the text contains some difficult names. The rationale for choice of topic and accompanying description is sometimes unclear. Each topic is illustrated with archival photographs or reproductions of prints.
Roberts, Chris; Roberts, Chris, photog. Powwow Country . Helena, MT: American and World Geographic Publishing; 1992. 128 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.
This book's purpose is to depict the "strong contemporary culture of Indian people exemplified by the powwow." The non-Indian author, who has been dancing competively on the powwow circuit for many years, tells the story of the powwow from a participant's point of view. Lavishly illustrated with many vibrant color photographs. Includes a glossary and a month-by-month list of annual powwow events.
Smith, Howard E. Jr. All About Arrowheads and Spearpoints . New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co.; 1989. 56 pages. (upper elementary).
Drawings, maps, charts, and text describe the development, manufacture, and use of arrowheads and spearpoints in prehistoric North America. The concluding chapter stresses American Indian inventiveness and the need to recognize Native achievements. This book is written by an enthusiast, and some of the information presented as fact is actually still open to question or is inaccurate. For example, his dates of 33,000 to possibly 50,000 for the crossing of Bering Strait landbridge are debatable. The statement that Sandia points were later named Clovis is inaccurate.
Stepteo, John; Steptoe, John illus. The Story of Jumping Mouse. New York, NY: Morrow; 1989. 40 pages.
Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1984, 36 pages. (lower elementary).
The book cover states that this is a retelling of an American Indian legend, but no sources are cited. Mouse is generous to those in need by giving up his sight, hearing and sense of smell. In the end these are restored to him and he is turned into an eagle. Beautiful black-and-white drawings.
Tannenbaum, Beulah; Tannenbaum, Harold. Science of the Early American Indians . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1988. 96 pages. (A First Book). (upper elementary) *.
The book approaches the technology of the Indians of North, Central, and South America as reflected in building construction, food growing and processing, fire-making, paper-making, pottery, basketry, weaving, weapons, and musical instruments. Number and writing systems, calendars, and astronomy are also discussed. The author stresses the unique contributions that Indians have made in medicine, astronomy, and mathematics, and disputes the idea that Indians were not capable of scientific activity because they did not use modern Western scientific methods. Illustrated with photographs. Also includes a map showing locations of 33 distinct early American Indian groups, a list of suggested readings, a glossary, and an index. e/gen/star.
The Editors of Time-Life Books. The Spirit World . Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books; 1992. 176 pages. (Henry Woodhead, Series Ed. The American Indians). (secondary).
Richly illustrated with striking color and black-and-white photographs, as well as maps, this volume looks at spirituality in a variety of traditional Indian cultures. A selection of origin myths are recounted, followed by discussions of the relationship between humans and animals, and between the people and the land. The final section explores the roles of the vision quest and of shamans among various tribes. The focus of the book is on the past, with only a few mentions and some photographs of contemporary ceremonies based on traditional beliefs. The editors note that actual sandpaintings used in ceremonies are too sacred to be photographed, and these paintings are represented by color illustrations. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Thomas, David Hurst, et al; Ballantine, Betty, Ballantine, Ian, eds. The Native Americans: An Illustrated History . Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing, Inc.; 1993. 479 pages. (secondary).
A beautifully illustrated history of North American Indians with an introduction by Alvin M. Josephy Jr. This work covers the First Americans to the present. Authors include David Hurst Thomas, Jay Miller, Richard White, Peter Nabokov, and Philip Deloria. Includes a bibliography and a list of tribes by culture area and language family. Text is supplemented with photographs, maps, and contemporary paintings.
Two Bulls, Marty Grant (Sioux). Ptebloka: Tails from the Buffalo . Vermillion, SD: Dakota Books; 1991. 26 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This collection of cartoons by a Sioux humorist "offer[s] a compelling counter-argument to the stereotypical image of the stoic, humorless Indian." The author/artist explains that he "tries to find humor in everything I see or read, and Indian history written by non-Indians is full of it." A variety of themes is explored including Indian-white relations.
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. Sharing Our Worlds: Native American Children Today. Seattle, WA: United Indians of All Tribes Foundation; 1980. 30 pages. (elementary) *.
In this book five American Indian children living in Seattle describe their families, their foods, their recreation, and their values. The children come from families where one parent is Native American and the other may be Filipino, Samoan, Hawaiian, or Portuguese. The authors want to show their readers "that a person may represent more than one culture." A well-written, easy-to-read book that introduces children to the concept of diversity among contemporary, urban American Indians.
Wall Steve; Arden, Harvey; White Deer of Autumn, ed.; Wall, Steve photog. Wisdomskeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.; 1990. 128 pages. (secondary).
The authors interviewed "acknowledged spiritual and political leaders" of various Native American nations and asked them to share "whatever they cared to share." These men and women reveal their thoughts, feelings, healing remedies, and prophecies. Includes photographs.
Weiss, Malcolm E.; McFadden, Eliza, illus. Sky Watchers of Ages Past . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1982. 84 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
A description of how ancient peoples measured the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. The book includes a discussion of tools and their accuracy as well as information on the calendrical systems used by the Anasazi, Hopi, and Maya and on Old World sites such as Stonehenge. Illustrated with black and white diagrams and maps. Includes a bibliography and an index.
White Deer of Autumn; Begay, Shonto W., illus (Native American). The Native American Book of Knowledge . Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.; 1992. 88 pages. (Native People Native Ways; Volume 1). (secondary).
The first of a four-book series, volume one explores the origins of American Indians in North America from a variety of perspectives. The author claims that American Indian origin stories are equally valid as scientific explanations. However, some of the evidence and interpretations he cites are not currently accepted by scientists; for example, the hypothesis that modern humans originated in North America and migrated to Asia. Part two focuses on a number of American Indian figures---some historical and some mythical---for example, Hiawatha and Quetzalcoatl. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings. Includes a suggested reading list.
White Deer of Autumn; Begay, Shonto W., illus (Native American). The Native American Book of Life . Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.; 1992. 88 pages. (Native Peoples Native Ways; Vol. 2). (secondary).
This second book in a four-volume series on American Indians focuses on the importance of children in American Indian cultures and describes birth, childhood ceremonies, methods of discipline, games, and other aspects of childhood. Part two is a fictional story that takes place at an American Indian museum, where two Indian children learn about their heritage and Indian contributions to the world. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings. Includes a suggested reading list.
White Deer of Autumn; Begay, Shonto (Native American), illus. The Native American Book of Change . Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.; 1992. 88 pages. (Native People, Native Ways; vol. 3). (secondary).
This third book in a four-volume series focuses on dreams, visions, and prophecies experienced by American Indians over the centuries including Wovoka (founder of the Ghost Dance religion), Black Elk, and the 20th century holy man, Lame Deer. Part two is a fictional story of an American Indian teacher exploring ethnic stereotypes with his high school students. In his attempt to speak from a Native perspective, the author at times oversimplifies complex issues. For example, "If it hadn't been for [Sacajawea's] knowledge of the trails and of the People's languages and ways, the United States would not have expanded so quickly and the Indian nations of the West would have lived longer."
White Deer of Autumn; Begay, Shonto (Native American), illus. The Native American Book of Wisdom . Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.; 1992. 88 pages. (Native People, Native Ways; vol. 4). (secondary).
This final volume in a four-book series relates the fictional story of Jamie, an orphaned Indian boy (no tribe indicated), who runs away from a BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) boarding school and is adopted by a Cherokee man. Jamie's struggle to understand and accept his Indian identity is explored. Part two relates the basic tenets of American Indian medicine and healing through the story of an Indian "medicine man" who visits an elementary school to speak to students. In his attempt to speak from an American Indian perspective, the author at times oversimplifies complex issues. Many American Indians today accept or incorporate aspects of both Christianity and Native religions. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings.
Whitney, Alex. Sports and Games the Indians Gave Us . New York, NY: David McKay Co., Inc.; 1977. 82 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This book gives an overview of the games and sports played by Indians throughout North America, with sections on ball games, acrobatic and endurance contests, dexterity and marksmanship games, watersports, winter sports and games, guessing games, and games of chance. Directions for making Indian gaming equipment, a bibliography, and an index are included. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings.
Wolfson, Evelyn; Bock, William Sauls (Delaware), illus. Growing Up Indian . New York, NY: Walker and Company; 1986. 8l pages. (upper elementary).
The romanticized tone of this book is established from the first sentence, which asks, "Did you ever wish you could run free with the Indians of long ago?" The traditional ways of many tribes are described, with special emphasis on the lives of children. Topics include discipline, dress, food, school, religion, and medicine. A short section titled "Indian Children Today" addresses some issues surrounding contemporary American Indians, and states that they do not like to be "spoken about in the past tense." Nonetheless, the bulk of this book focuses on an American Indian lifestyle that the book concludes is "outdated." Includes an introduction, suggested reading list, bibliography, and index. Black-and-white illustrations.
Wolfson, Evelyn; Hewitson, Jennifer, illus. From the Earth to Beyond the Sky: Native American Medicine . New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin; 1993. 96 pages. (upper elementary).
This book describes the medical practices used by Indians before the arrival of Europeans, discussing Native concepts of health and illness, the relationship between healing practices and spiritual beliefs, and the use of plants for healing. This is a good introduction to the topic for young readers. A glossary, bibliography, suggested reading list, and index are included.
Wolfson, Evelyn; Bock, William Sauls (Delaware), illus. From Abenaki to Zuni: A Dictionary of Native American Tribes . New York, NY: Walker Publishing Co., Inc.; 1988. 215 pages. (elementary/secondary).
The book describes the physical environment, housing, subsistence, transportation, clothing, and present-day location of 69 tribes. Legends and traditions are covered for some of the tribes. An appendix lists the tribes by culture area. Includes a bibliography, glossary, and list of suggested readings.
Wood, Marian. Ancient America: Cultural Atlas for Young People . New York, NY: Facts on File; 1990. 96 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
The first part of this reference book is devoted to North America, the second part to Latin America. The introduction briefly covers migration via the Bering Strait land bridge and the later arrival of the Europeans. The section on North America includes geography, the Eskimo, Mound Builders, Iroquois, Plains, the West, the Southwest, and the Northwest Coast. Maps, diagrams, photographs, and color illustrations. Includes a glossary, gazetteer, further reading, and index.
Wood, Marion. D'Ottavi, Francesca, illus. Myths and Civilization of the Native Americans . Peter Bedrick Books, 1998. 44 pp. (upper elementary, secondary)
The book is organized by a retelling of a traditional story (referred to as a myth in this book), followed by a two-page description of the culture area to which it relates. For instance the story about "Raven and the First Human Beings" begins the section on the Northwest Coast. Sources are not cited for the traditional stories told. Attractive color illustrations. Includes an index.
SOUTHWEST TRADITIONAL STORIES
Burland, Cottie; Wood, Marion. North American Indian Mythology . Revised 1965 ed. New York, NY: Peter Bedrick Books; 1985. 144 pages. (The Library of the World's Myths and Legends). (secondary).
This is a profusely illustrated survey of American Indian mythology. The introduction discusses the origins of North American Indians with brief descriptions of traditional culture of the various geographic areas. Other sections relate traditional stories from the Inuit, Cree, Navajo, Pueblos, and peoples of the Northwest Coast, the Plains, and the Southeast. The final section briefly discusses the impact of European contact on traditional cultures. Not a useful source for information on the continuing influence of oral history and tradition literature on the lives of contemporary Indian people. Includes a list of the "Chief Gods and Spirits of North America," a reading list, and an index. The book is illustrated with black-and-white and color photographs and illustrations, among these are drawings of false-face masks and sand paintings---items that are sacred to their respective cultures---and it is often considered disrespectful to publish images of this type of material culture.
Monroe, Jean Guard; Williamson, Ray A.; Carlson, Susan Johnston, illus. First Houses: Native American Homes and Sacred Structures . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1993. 147 pages. (upper elementary/ secondary).
This is a collection of stories associated with American Indian houses and sacred structures from the temperate zone of North America. Stories about the Plains tipi, Iroquois longhouse, Navajo hogan, and a variety of other house types show how the patterns for these ancient dwellings set the pattern for homes of today. Most of the stories were collected directly from Indian storytellers and were originally published in scholarly books and journals "reduced to lifeless prose." The authors have presented the stories here "in a form that we hope conveys more of the liveliness of the original telling."
Bahti, Tom. Southwestern Indian Tribes . Fifth reprint of 1968 ed. Las Vegas, NV: KC Publications; 1975. 72 pages. (elementary/ secondary).
This book contains brief but informative descriptions of the various tribes of the Southwest with suggested readings for each. Includes color and black-and-white photographs.
Bains, Rae; Guzzi, George, illus. Indians of the West . Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary) ?.
This is a brief overview of the pre-Contact lifeways of the Indians of the Northwest Coast, Southwest, California, and of the inland Paiute, Bannock, and Ute peoples. The book focuses on housing, subsistence, the potlatch, and Southwest and California Indian religions. The effort to cover so much material in such a limited book results in broad generalizations with little attempt to explain underlying structure. For instance, Northwest Coast Indians are characterized as "wasteful" without context or explanation of the importance of the potlatch as a means of redistributing wealth within the society. The book declares, "Strangely, all the California Indians lived off the rich land without making any effort to develop it into farms," but does not explain why the Indians of that area had no need to farm in order to flourish. No information on contemporary Indian culture is given.
Baylor, Byrd; Bahti, Tom, illus. When Clay Sings . Reprint of 1972 ed. New York, NY: Aladdin (MacMillan); 1987. 26 pages. (lower elementary) *.
This well-written book uses ancient pottery to evoke aspects of former Southwest lifeways and engages the young reader by asking questions as well as by informing. A chart of various pottery designs that can be traced is included in the frontispiece.
Baylor, Byrd; Ingram, Jerry (Choctaw), illus. They Put on Masks . New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons; 1974. 47 pages. (lower elementary).
This book beautifully describes the forms and functions of masks among the Eskimo, Northwest Coast cultures, Iroquois, Navajo, Apache, Hopi, Zuni and Yaqui. The book evokes the powerful feelings associated with masks and provides much descriptive information. It is important to note that many American Indians find depicting masks and using them for classroom activities offensive.
Brandt, Keith; Guzzi, George, illus. Indian Homes . Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary).
This book describes the house types of various regions (Plains, Woodlands, Southeast, Southwest) and the factors that influenced the types of housing: climate; building materials; length of time dwelling was used; tribal customs; and way of life. There is no discussion on contemporary housing nor the roles of the above factors for Indians today. The book contains generalizations such as: "A belief shared by all tribes was...."
Brandt, Keith; Guzzi, George, illus. Indian Festivals . Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary) ?.
This book briefly describes the festivals held by American Indians in the Eastern Woodlands (Iroquois, Algonquian), Southeast (Muskogee), Plains, Southwest (Pueblo), California, and Northwest Coast regions. The book uses the word "braves" and includes generalizations and stereotypes Native peoples, such as "The Indians who lived in California did not hunt or farm. They lived entirely on acorns that were gathered from trees. But while their lives were easy and peaceful, their festivals were almost totally concerned with death."
Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, An Indian History of the American Wes t. New York, NY: Holt & Co.; 1991; c1970. 512 pages. (secondary) *.
The Western tribes' displacement from their lands, confinement to reservations, and the consequent destruction of traditional culture are carefully and compassionately recounted in this compelling and highly readable history (1860--1890). Unlike most other histories covering this topic, the book presents the events as experienced by the victims. The main sources for the history are official records of U.S.-Indian treaty councils and meetings. The reasonableness and humanity expressed by the American Indian spokesmen during these encounters, as recounted here, do much to counter the stereotype of "ignorant," "savage" Indians, and the courageous spirit they reveal evokes admiration and respect. Chapters are arranged chronologically, each devoted to a particular tribe or campaign. The final chapter describes the growth and significance of the Ghost Dance movement and the Battle of Wounded Knee. A map shows the location and dates of the main actions. Sources are cited in the extensive notes. Archival photographs, bibliography and index are included.
Brown, Dee. Erlich, Amy, adapter. Wounded Knee An Indian History of the American West . New York, NY. Henry Holt & Co.; 1993; c. 1970, 1974. 202 pages * (upper elementary/secondary)
This adaptation for young readers of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee tells the moving story of the defeat and dispossession of the Western tribes, 1860-1890, ending with the Battle of Wounded Knee. Dee Brown's account of these events, told from the viewpoint of the victims, has been successfully translated into a simpler, abbreviated version that retains the powerful impact of the original. Notes indicate sources. Illustrated with archival photographs and maps. Includes a list of the names of various months (e.g. Moon of the Greening Grass) for selected tribes, a bibliography, and an index.
Hammerschlag, Carl A. The Dancing Healers: A Doctor's Journey of Healing with Native Americans . San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers; 1988. 170 pages. (secondary).
A non-Indian psychiatrist, who worked with the Indian Medical Service for 20 years, reflects on the effect that American Indian attitudes and teachings have had on his work and philosophy, including coming to terms with his own prejudices. He stresses how, what he calls, the "American Indian approach" intersects with recent trends in the field of psychiatry, and the importance of ritual to bridge the passages in our lives. Includes descriptions of the peyote ceremony and the Sun Dance.
Hofsinde, Robert (Gray-Wolf); Gray-Wolf, illus. Indian Costumes . New York, NY: William Morrow and Company; 1968. 94 pages. (upper elementary).
This simple reference on the traditional dress of various American Indian tribes makes distinctions between clothing used for everyday purposes, warfare, and ceremonial occasions. While the author uses the word "costume," more appropriate would be the terms "clothing," "dress," and "regalia." Stereotypical Indian dress is a popular "costume" for Halloween and western movies. Includes detailed black-and-white illustrations.
Hofsinde, Robert; Hofsinde, Robert, illus. Indian Warriors and their Weapons . New York, NY: William Morrow & Co.; 1965. 96 pages. (upper elementary).
The weapons, fighting methods, and clothing, and charms worn for battle of seven representative tribes---the Ojibwa, Iroquois, Sioux, Blackfeet, Apache and Navajo, and Crow---are the focus of this book. There is very little discussion of the causes for warfare, or the historical context in which wars were fought. Illustrated with black-and-white ink drawings of traditional dress and weapons.
Hyer, Sally. One House, One Voice, One Heart: Native American Education at the Santa Fe Indian School . Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press; 1990. 107 pages. (secondary) *.
Since its founding in 1890, the Santa Fe Indian School has had a monumental impact on generations of American Indian children in the Southwest. This publication is the result of an oral history project designed to analyze the role that the school has played in the development of Indian communities in New Mexico. The book traces the history of the school and shifting federal policies toward American Indians. Students' recollections of their experiences at the school add a powerful dimension to this fascinating look at an institution that today still strives to meet the needs of Indian children. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Keegan, M. K.; Keegan, M. K., photog. Enduring Culture: A Century of Photography of the Southwest Indians . Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers; 1990. 120 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
Through a collection of black-and-white photographs of the Southwest from the late 19th and early 20th century, juxtaposed with contemporary color photographs of similar subjects, this book shows how Southwest Indian cultures have endured and grown stronger over time. Includes a foreword by N. Scott Momaday.
Liptak, Karen. Indians of the Southwest . New York, NY: Facts on File; 1991. 96 pages. (The First Americans). (upper elementary) *.
This is an informative overview of Southwest American Indian history, lifeways, ritual, religion, and the changes brought by contact with the Spanish, and later by reservation life. A short section on Southwest Indians today describes the economies, tourist attractions, ceremonies, and festivals of the Southwest pueblos and reservations. Well-illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs, and a color photograph essay section on ritual and arts and crafts. Includes an index.
Martin, Bill Jr.; Archambault, John; Rand, Ted, illus. Knots On A Counting Rope . New York, NY: Henry Holt and Co.; 1990, 1987, 1966. 32 pages. (lower elementary) ?.
Written as a dialogue between a grandfather and his blind grandson, this romanticized tale recounts the boy's birth and childhood. No specific tribe is indicated, though the illustrations place the story in a Southwest setting. This is an unlikely American Indian story---for instance, the boy's name, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses, and his constant interruptions of an elder.
McDermott, Gerald; Gerald McDermott, illus. Arrow to the Sun. New York, NY: Puffin Books; 1977. 48 pages. Viking Press, 1974, 36 pages. (lower elementary).
This adaptation of the Pueblo myth about how the sun was brought to the world is illustrated with abstract, geometric illustrations in Southwest colors, which predominate over the brief, simple text.
Newcomb, W. W., Jr; Story, Hal M., illus. The Indians of Texas: From Prehistoric to Modern Times . Austin, TX: University of Texas Press; 1961. 404 pages. (secondary).
This comprehensive survey of the Native peoples who inhabited what is now Texas, from the beginning of the historic period to the present, is based on accounts left by soldiers, missionaries, and explorers. Though an anthropologist, the book makes stereotypical references to the "savages of the Western Gulf...." The author states that "the terms `savage' and `barbaric' are used to indicate levels of technological productivity [referring to a 19th century classification of cultures from "primitive" to "civilized"] and are not meant in a disparaging sense." This is no excuse, however, for perpetuating the use of these offensive terms. An outline of Texas prehistory is included, followed by chapters describing the Coahuiltecans, Karankawas, Lipan Apaches, Tonkawas, Comanches, Kiowas, Kiowa Apache, Jumanos, Wichitas, the Caddo Confederacies, and the Atakapans. The book ends with a description of the devastating on the Native peoples of Texas from contact and conflict with Anglo culture. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Niethammer, Carolyn; Thomson, Jenean, illus. American Indian Food and Lore . New York, NY: Collier Books; 1974. 191 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This book contains over 150 recipes based on wild plants utilized by the American Indians in the southwestern United States. Fifty desert plants are illustrated in line drawings and listed alphabetically with descriptions, habitat, historical significance, and use in tribal cooking. The book is well-researched and detailed, with much useful ethnobotanical information accompanying the recipes. A bibliography and an index are included.
Payne, Elizabeth; Davis, Jack, illus. Meet the North American Indians . New York, NY: Random House; 1965. 85 pages. (Step Up Books). (lower elementary) ?.
This reprint of a 1965 publication describes in simple prose for young readers the peopling of America and the pre-Contact lifeways of representative tribes of the Northwest Coast, Southwest, Southeast, Plains and Northeast. Post-Contact and modern life are not covered. The book abounds in generalizations, stereotypes, and condescension. Examples: "The Creek would fight anyone for no reason at all. The Creek just loved to fight"; "The Creek played [lacrosse] fiercely. Arms and legs were broken. Heads were just split open. This was just part of the fun to the Creek"; "Makah rain hats were pointed at the top. Maybe this was because the heads of the Makah were pointed at the top, too!" Black, white, and orange illustrations are similarly stereotypical and tend to focus on the unusual and bizarre.
Sandoval, Richard C.; Sheck, Ree, eds. Indians of New Mexico . Santa Fe, NM: New Mexico Magazine; 1990. 128 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This collection of articles about the American Indians of New Mexico, compiled from previously published pieces in New Mexico Magazine, primarily focus on traditional Pueblo and Navajo crafts and craftspeople today. The book risks romanticizing these cultures without presenting a well-rounded view. Includes beautiful color photographs.
Trimble, Stephen. The People: Indians of the American Southwest . Santa Fe: School of American Research, 1993. 496 pages. (secondary).
This readable and attractive overview of the American Indian people of the Southwest covers the three geographic southwest regions: the Plateau (Pueblo, Navajo, and Pai), Upland (Yavapai, Apache, Ute, and Southern Paiute), and Desert (Tohono O'odham, Maricopa, Colorado River tribes, and Yaqui). The book begins with general historical information, including the relationship with the non-Indian culture, and proceeds with individual tribal histories. The book focuses on contemporary life, with oral interviews expressing the lives, hopes, dreams, and challenges of a wide range of Southwestern Indian people. Beautiful color photographs by the author illustrate the book, which also contains black-and-white historical photographs. A map, index, calendar of events, and notes suggesting supplemental readings make this book a worthwhile introduction.
Villasenor, David V. (Otomi). Tapestries in Sand: The Spirit of Indian Sandpainting . Healdsburg, CA: Naturegraph Press; 1966. 112 pages. (secondary).
This book contains a series of commentaries on American Indian-style sandpaintings created by the author/artist. The author interprets the sandpaintings "based on [their] mystical, rather than physical ritualistic aspects....The explanations of sandpaintings of the Navajo, Apache, and Southern California Indians give only the spiritual essence and are devoid of tribal ritual as much as possible. The latter is mentioned only where necessary but generally the attempt is made to capture some of the intrinsic beauty and wisdom of a mystical people." The book refers to American Indians in the past-tense, and in a romanticized style. The writing is poor and difficult to follow. The author does not clarify sources for most of this information, and it is not a useful reference on Southwest Indian sandpainting.
Warren, Betsy; Warren, Betsy, illus. Indians Who Lived in Texas . Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company; 1970. 48 pages. (lower elementary) ?
This brief overview of the Indian tribes of Texas provides information on their appearance, dwellings, food, crafts, and subsistence patterns. The last topic of each section is titled "end of culture," which is misleading since many of these cultures still exist, if not in Texas, in another state. The author summarizes the contributions of Texas Indians as follows: "When the white man came to Texas, he learned many things from the Indians that helped him to live on the frontier and develop the state. Geographic names remain as evidence of our rich Indian heritage...." Some of the author's descriptions are stereotypical and demonstrate Eurocentric attitudes. For instance, "The Jumanos had a strange way of greeting visitors"; "They [the Karankawa] had huge heads covered with coarse, bushy hair." "Dances were wild and noisy...." Includes an illustrated glossary, index, and monotone illustrations.
Warren, Betsy; Warren, Betsy, illus. Let's Remember Indians of Texas . Dallas, TX: Hendrick-Long Publishing Co.; 1981. 32 pages. (lower elementary) ?
This simple book describes the traditional lifestyles of the Indians who inhabited what is now Texas, including the Caddo, Wichita, Jumanos, Karankawa, Atakapan, Tonkawa, Coahuiltecan, Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche. Written for young readers, the book oversimplifies with statements such as "All of the Texas Indians were good hunters with bows, arrows, and spears...." There are also factual errors such as "There are only a few Indians living in Texas today." Includes activities and quizzes, some useful, and others of questionable value. A true-false test asks if "The first Indians came to Texas in a bus...." and "Indian children ate chocolate popsicles...."
Wesche, Alice. Wild Brothers of the Indians: As Pictured by the Ancient Americans . Tucson, AZ: Treasure Chest Publications; 1977. 56 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This profusely illustrated booklet explains how to draw the distinctive animal figures represented on prehistoric Mimbres pottery from the American Southwest. A brief description of materials and styles used to depict animals by other American Indian groups is included, followed by a description of pottery techniques. The remainder of the book consists of detailed instructions for drawing the Mimbres animal figures.
Wheeler, M. J.; Houston, James, illus. First Came the Indians . New York: Atheneum; 1983. 26 pages. (lower elementary).
This book contains simplistic and short descriptions of the Creek, Iroquois, Ojibwa, Sioux, Makah, and Hopi. In the two-page section on "Indians Now," the author emphasizes that American Indians live much like other Americans in rural and urban areas, are employed in a variety of occupations, and hold on to many of their traditions. Includes black-and-red illustrations.
Baylor, Byrd. One Small Blue Bead . Reprint of 1965 ed. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Son; 1992. 30 pages. (lower elementary).
The author uses the device of an ancient blue bead to evoke the distant past. An isolated band of people wonder whether they are the only ones in the world. An old man decides to search for others and brings back a blond, blue-eyed boy wearing a turquoise bead. This appealing, innovative tale is presented in rhyme. The turquoise bead would seem to indicate that the action is set in the Southwest. Includes full-color illustrations.
Baylor, Byrd; Parnall, Peter, illus. Hawk, I'm Your Brother . reprint of 1976 ed. ed. New York, NY: Macmillan Child Group; 1986. 48 pages. (lower elementary).
In this story a boy who yearns to fly captures a hawk. After the boy frees the hawk, a kinship grows between them. Only then does the boy understand the experience of flying. Written in a poetic, "read-aloud" style, the book stresses kinship with nature and the wisdom that this can bring. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Boegehold, Betty; Waldheim, Neil, illus. A Horse Called Starfire . New York, NY: Bantam; 1990. 43 pages. (lower elementary).
This is an imaginary recounting of an unidentified American Indian group's first encounter with a horse. The story teaches nothing about American Indian culture either in the text or the illustrations.
Bulla, Clyde Robert; Syson, Michael; Himler, Ronald, illus. Conquista! New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell; 1978. 35 pages. (elementary).
During Coronado's 1521 expedition to find the fabled city of gold in North America, one of his prized horses escapes and is found by Little Wolf (no tribe indicated), who is alone in the desert awaiting the spirit vision through which he will earn his "man-name." This fictional account of what the first encounter between an American Indian and the "sun dog" (horse) might have been like is humorous and engagingly written, but contains little useful information on American Indians. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Clymer, Eleanor; Fetz, Ingrid, illus. The Spider, the Cave and the Pottery Bowl . New York, NY: Dell; 1989. 80 pages. (upper elementary).
In this contemporary novel, Kate and her brother, Johnny, return to spend the summer with their grandmother, who lives on a mesa in the Southwest. The children's grandmother is a noted potter, but this summer she is listless and inactive. She is not making pottery because the good clay has been used up. After a series of mishaps, the children find good clay and bring it back to their grandmother, who shows them how to make pottery. The pueblo to which Kate and Johnny belong is not identified in the story, which begins with Kate introducing herself with "I am an Indian." The book contains cultural information on house types, pottery-making, and origin and other legends. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Farley, Walter. The Black Stallion Legend . New York, NY: Random House; 1985. 192 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) ?.
In this contemporary story, jockey Alex Ramsey flees to the Southwest with his black stallion after a personal tragedy. There he encounters an isolated group of American Indians (tribe not indicated) who have a prophecy that a man on a black horse will lead their people to safety at the end of the world. When a gigantic earthquake destroys their homeland, Ramsey brings the Native people to an ancient cliff-dwelling to begin rebuilding their village. An author's postscript states that this is not based on a real American Indian legend. A tribal elder Ramsey encounters says to him, "I have been waiting for you all the years of my life. You have come at last." The underlying concept of Indians relying on a non-Indian hero to save them is demeaning and patronizing.
Holt, Roy D.; Stout, S. J., illus. Children Indian Captives . Burnet, TX: Eakin Press; 1980. 91 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) ?.
This collection of 33 accounts of kidnappings of Euroamerican settles in Texas in the late 1800s. The stories are told from the point of view of the victims, and reflect the hostility they felt for their American Indian captors. The book makes no attempt to counter these stereotypes by presenting the American Indian viewpoint. Loaded words are throughout the book, including "savages," "ferocious," "fiendish," and "squaw." The introduction states that the stories are true, and sources are listed in the bibliography.
Momaday, N. Scott (Kiowa). House Made of Dawn . New York, NY: Harper and Row Publishers; 1966. 212 pages. (secondary).
This moving novel begins in 1945, as the protagonist, Abel, returns to his home in New Mexico after fighting in Europe in World War II. Abel is an American Indian of mixed heritage: Pueblo, Hispanic, and perhaps Navajo through his unknown father. The novel chronicles Abel's unraveling after the war, from his drunken return to his commission of a murder---then a sentence in jail, and a stint in Los Angeles, after being relocated there by the government. The narrative shifts between the present and the past, with flashbacks to the war, to previous generations, and to American Indian mythology. The text is enriched with vivid descriptions of American Indian ceremonies, as well as word paintings of the Southwest. The story includes some sexual passages and a graphically depicted murder.
Moon, Grace; Moon, Carl. Lost Indian Magic . New York, NY: Gordon Press; 1977. 301 pages. (secondary).
This novel centers around the lost "magic" of a Southwest American Indian tribe referred to as the "Nag'-a-pah" (presumably Navajo) and the attempt of young Kay'-yah to retrieve this magic from their neighboring enemy tribe, the "To-to'-me." A foreword states that the story is an ancient legend, but no sources are cited. The prologue explains that "superstition...more than all else, governed the life and conduct of our American Indians before the coming of the white man" and the story has the protagonist consistently overcoming these "superstitions" in his quest to survive his enemy pursuers and retrieve the magic. Kay'-yah admits that "...something within him, something that he had never voiced to others, always spoke against the idea that any power or virtue could come out of incantations, weird chants, and sand paintings...." It seems ironic that this skeptical character is later chosen to be the next medicine man.
Nunes, Susan; Himler, Ronald, illus. Coyote Dreams . New York, NY: Atheneum. 30 pages. (lower elementary).
The poetic writing, gauzy watercolor illustrations, and dreamlike theme of this book combine to evoke the world of the desert, the Old West, and Mexico, all linked by associations with the name "Coyote." This book has no specific connection with American Indians, apart from the illustrations.
Parsons, Elsie Clews, ed.; La Farge, C. Grant, illus. North American Indian Life, Customs and Traditions of 23 Tribes . Reprint of B.W. Huebsch Inc. 1922 ed. New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc.; 1992. 419 pages. (secondary).
Reprinted from the original 1922 edition, this book includes twenty-seven fictional narratives, written by anthropologists, about various North and Central American Indian cultures. The editor attempts to provide a more realistic view of American Indians than was currently available from popular literature; the resulting collection is uneven. Most of the stories present the culture from the inside; two drawn directly from American Indian sources are particularly successful. Others may leave the reader more confused than informed. Some of the attitudes and concepts are outmoded. The introduction, by A.L. Kroeber, refers to the cultures described in this collection as representing "a ladder of culture development...in...order of advancement," and speaks of an anthropologist and "his Indians." Notes on the various tribes give 1922 statistics, and accompanying bibliographies have not been updated.
Paulsen, Gary. The Night the White Deer Died . Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc. Publishers; 1978. 96 pages. (secondary).
In this novel fifteen-year-old Janet Merril, living with her artist mother in a small New Mexico town, develops a relationship with middle-aged, alcoholic American Indian Peter Honcho from the nearby Pueblo. The two are brought together by a mystical link through which they share the same dream. This book represents a familiar genre in which a troubled and lonely white teenager meets an American Indian with whom to share mystical experiences. Not a source for American Indian cultural information.
Shefelman, Jancie Jordan; Shefelman, Tom Karl and Dan, illus. Spirit of Iron . Austin, TX: Eakin Press; 1987. 146 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This book is the third in a series of the adventures of teenage Mina Jordon, a German settler living in 19th- century Texas. Mina learns that the Comanche have kidnapped her Lipan Apache friend, Amaya, and so she joins a company of Texas Rangers to help find her. American Indian aspects of the story are secondary to the adventures of Mina, her friends, and family. Characters in the novel express anti-Indian bias. Example: "Jealous...of a savage? No, Mina, I'm just warning you. Don't be encouraging him. Indians have a different way of looking at women than we do." Includes black-and-white illustrations, a glossary and a bibliography.
Walters, Anna Lee. Ghost Singer . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1988. 220 pages. (secondary).
This unusual novel, set in 1968--69, with a prologue set in 1830, centers around the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's ownership of a "special" American Indian collection. This suspenseful mystery reflects on such topics as the rights of ownership of American Indian artifacts and remains, the need for American Indian history from the Indian as well as non-Indian viewpoint, and the discrepancies between traditional and mainstream education. The plot gradually weaves several different but inter-related stories together to create an interesting novel.
Worcester, Donald Johnson, Harper, illus. War Pony . New York, NY: Henry Z. Walck, Inc.; 1961. 125 pages. (upper elementary).
Alfredo, the son of a vaquero cattle rancher located in New Mexico, is given a wild pony whom he names Gavilan, or "sparrow hawk." Set in 1800, the story follows the adventures of Gavilan as he is first taken away from Alfredo by a cavalry officer, and later stolen from the officer by a Comanche. Neither Comanches, Navajos, nor Utes, all mentioned in this book, are described or characterized with any depth or dimension. The horse is presented as a more multi-dimensional character than most of the humans. Descriptions of Indians include stereotypical language: "The Comanches were the most numerous and dreaded of the wild tribes"; an Apache captive of the cavalry is described as "a sullen-faced young warrior, who sat on his little pony stoically in spite of a wound." Illustrated with monotone drawings.
ACOMA PUEBLO NON-FICTION
James, H. L. Acoma: The People of the White Rock . Glorieta, NM: The Rio Grande Press, Inc.; 1970. 96 pages. (secondary).
The book is a pictorial history of Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, perhaps the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States. The color photographs are accompanied by excerpts from early histories of the region describing the landscape and people of Acoma. Some of this text reflects dated language and attitudes. The author recounts the legend of Katzimo, the "enchanted mesa," and describes attempts by 19th century archaeologists to prove whether or not Katzimo was inhabited by the ancestors of the Acoma. Many of the citations are not dated and their relationship to the accompanying photographs is unclear. Photographs are of poor quality. The book contains no bibliography.
ACOMA PUEBLO FICTION
Dressman, John; Ribera-Ortega, Pedro Spanish translator; Strock, Glen, illus. On the Cliffs of Acoma: A Pueblo Story with a Short History of Acoma . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1984. 32 pages. (elementary).
While selling his mother's pottery, Peter hears about the history and Spanish conquest of Acoma Pueblo from a tour guide. He and his sister explore the mesa's edges for clues on how the Spanish reached the high city of Acoma to conquer his people. Includes an introduction, short history, and bibliography. Written in Spanish and English. Black-and-white illustrations.
Freeman, Jodi; Freeman, Brian; Flanagan, Terry, illus. The Old Ones: A Children's Book About the Anasazi Indians . Albuquerque, NM: The Think Shop, Inc.; 1986. 64 pages. (elementary).
This simply written book compares the lifeways of Anasazi children with those of non-Indian contemporary children. The text contains some useful information about traditional Anasazi life, and this information is illustrated with black-and-white photographs of the Southwest, line drawings, and photographs of museum dioramas depicting the Anasazi. The simplistic and unimaginative questions throughout the book lead to oversimplified comparisons. For example, the text under a photograph of a petroglyph reads: "The Old Ones liked to draw pictures. They did not have any paper, so they made pictures on rock walls. This was ok then, but would your family like it if you made pictures on the wall?"
Jones, Dewitt; Cordell, Linda S. Anasazi World . Portland, Or: Graphic Arts Publishing Company; 1985, 87 pages. (secondary).
This well-written and informative catalog to a museum exhibition at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque traces the history of the Anasazi peoples of the ancient Southwest. The large, full-color photographs capture the power and beauty of the landscape and the Pueblo peoples today.
Radlauer, Ruth Shaw; Zilmer, Rolf, photog. Mesa Verde National Park . Revised 1977 ed. Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1984. 48 pages. (lower elementary).
This description of Mesa Verde National Park in New Mexico focuses on the archaeological ruins of the Anasazi. Written for very young readers, the book contains descriptions of the four periods of prehistory represented in the park, and recreates the seasonal patterns and lifestyles of the Anasazi. The simplified text at times poses condescending questions. For example, in discussing the scale upon which the cliff dwellings were built..."Were the people giants? Is that how they built such high towers? But if they were giants, how could they get into the houses through those tiny doors?" And in a discussion of the drought that may have led to the abandonment of Mesa Verde by the Anasazi..."The people had lived through droughts before...Did they think witches, or evil spirits wanted them to go away?" Illustrated with color photographs of the park and ruins.
Trimble, Stephen; Dewey, Jennifer Ownings, Reade, Deborah, illus. The Village of Blue Stone . New York, NY: MacMillan; 1990. 58 pages. (elementary).
This imaginary re-creation of a year in an Anasazi village (c. AD 1100) is based on ethnohistorical (Hopi) and archaeological materials. The book covers topics such as kinship, subsistence, and technology. Includes beautiful black-and-white illustrations, a glossary, suggested readings, and a list of sites to visit.
Warren, Scott. Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest . San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books; 1992. 55 pages. (upper elementary) *.
This attractive book describes for young readers the prehistory of the three major groups of Southwestern Indians: the Anasazi, the Hohokam, and the Mogollon. Beautiful color photographs by the author/photographer illustrate the text. A series of "interactive questions" is highlighted in the text to encourage discussion. Includes a section on archaeological methods, a glossary, a guide to national parks and monuments that have prehistoric ruins and rock art, and an index.
Fellers, Charles L.; Kyar, Shirley E., illus. Blue Stone: An Anasazi Indian Boy . Phoenix, AZ: Laughing Fox Legends; 1989. ? pages. (lower elementary).
This is the story of Blue Stone, a young Anasazi boy who learns about and participates in the traditional Anasazi rituals that lead him into adulthood. Blue Stone learns about his people's history, beliefs, and culture from listening to Chief Kachina, as well as his grandfather, his mother, and his father. Includes black-and- white illustrations.
James, J. Alison. Sing For a Gentle Rain . New York, NY: Atheneum; 1990. 211 pages. (secondary).
In this novel, James, a high-school junior, has lived alone with his anthropologist grandfather since the age of three. His mother is on the road with her rock and roll band, and he has never met his Native father. James is haunted by a recurring dream, and when he begins researching the Anasazi for a school report, he is mysteriously transported back in time 700 years to an Anasazi village. There he falls in love with Spring Rain, an Anasazi girl who is waiting for her chance to bear a son who will be the next seer of the village. This story perpetuates the stereotype of mystical experiences associated with American Indians.
Ball, Eve. Indeh: An Apache Odyssey . Provo, UT: University of Oklahoma Press; 1988. (Brigham Young University Press 1982, 1980) 356 pages. (secondary) *.
This is a collection of first-person narratives and oral traditions based on interviews among descendants of Apache leaders. Some sections include follow-up comments to the interviews. Through the narratives, we learn about the great Apache leaders, their skirmishes with the U.S. Army and white settlers, and the efforts to move the Apache to a reservation. Life on the run is described by descendants of those who lived through these experiences. This book provides a unique opportunity to hear the Apache version of their story. Includes archival photographs, a bibliography, and an index.
Hook, Jason. Hook, Richard, illus. Geronimo: Last Renegade of the Apache . Dorset, UK: Firebird Books, Ltd.; 1989. 48 pages. (Heroes and Warriors). (upper elementary/secondary).
This is a well-balanced account of Geronimo's life (1829--1909) and the Apache's conflicts with Mexico and the United States. Illustrated with maps, archival photographs, and color and black-and-white illustrations, the book includes an index, chronology of events, and a bibliography.
Jeffery, David; Redman, Tom, illus. Geronimo . Milwaukee, WI: Raintree Publishers; 1990. 32 pages. (Viola, Herman J. American Indian Stories). (elementary).
This biography of the Apache leader Geronimo (Goyathlay) focuses primarily on the many battles he fought against Mexican and American soldiers. Eventually, Geronimo was forced to surrender, and died a prisoner of war. Includes a timeline and full- color illustrations.
Kent, Zachary. The Story of Geronimo . Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1989. 31 pages. (lower elementary)?
This book traces the life of Geronimo, with an emphasis on the history of the Apache Wars. While the author expresses sympathy for the plight of the Apache, he frequently uses loaded words: Geronimo was "the fiercest outlaw," the "savage Apache." The archival photographs better evoke the time and the conditions of the Apache than does the text.
McGovern, Ann. The Defenders . New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.; 1987, 1970. 128 pages. (upper elementary).
Through the biographies of chiefs Osceola (Seminole), Tecumseh (Shawnee) and Cochise (Chiricahua Apache), the story of American Indians' struggle to keep their lands is told in a simple, fast-moving style that should keep young readers interested. No sources or bibliography are provided. Illustrated with reproductions of prints and archival photographs.
Rothaus, James R.; Keely, John and Brude, Dick, illus. Geronimo: Apache Warrior (1829--1909) . Mankato, MN: Creative Education; 1987. 30 pages. (We the People). (lower elementary).
This biography of Geronimo focuses on the raids and battles he undertook in his unyielding struggle to preserve the lifeways of his people. The book also describes his eventual capture and imprisonment. Includes color and black-and-white illustrations.
Schwarz, Melissa. Cochise, Apache Chief . New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1992. 119 pages. (North American Indians of Achievement). (secondary) *.
This is an engaging biography of Cochise, who was born around 1805, and who died in 1874 as a famous and respected Apache warrior and chief. Falsely accused of kidnaping a rancher's son, Cochise waged war against the non-Indians, who murdered members of his family. The book discusses the Apache's conflicts with Mexicans and with Euroamerican settlers. Vital and stimulating information on Apache culture is included; the introduction discusses Indian leadership. Illustrated with black-and-white archival photographs, the book includes a chronology of the Apache, a reading list, and an index.
Shorto, Russell; Cundiff, L. L., illus. Geronimo and the Struggle for Apache Freedom . Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett Press; 1989. 130 pages. (Alvin Josephy, Gen. Ed. Alvin Josephy's Biography Series on American Indians). (elementary/secondary) *.
This story of the Apache wars and Geronimo's attempt to keep his people together despite encroaching Euroamerican settlers is told in stirring prose. The Apache creation myth is retold early in the book. Illustrated by archival photographs and black-and-white drawings. Includes a bibliography and a reading list.
Thrapp, Dan L. Juh: An Incredible Indian . Reprint of 1973 ed. El Paso, TX: University of Texas at El Paso; 42 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This is a short biography of Juh, an Apache war leader whom the author describes as a "prominent and important Apache of singular capacity and ruthlessness, deserving to rank with Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, Victorio and well above Geronimo in accomplishment." The focus of this biography is Juh's participation in military episodes and confrontations with the Mexicans and Americans in the late 19th century, culminating in his "incredible" escape to Mexico. The author argues that Juh's death in 1883 destroyed the Apache's power to make war and calls Geronimo a "minor chieftain" in comparison to Juh.
APACHE TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baker, Betty; Rounds, Glen, illus. Three Fools and a Horse . New York, NY: MacMillan; 1975. 63 pages. (lower elementary).
This book consists of a combination of Apache tales retold as one. This tale concerns the Foolish People, an invented tribe the Apaches joke about to pass on important lessons to their children. The morals of the tale are unclear, and the original spirit of the story is lost. Two-color illustrations depict the Foolish People as comic types. A short explanation of the Foolish People and what they represent follows the story.
Baylor, Byrd. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Trails West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary).
This collection of forty-one legends is retold by contemporary Arizona school children, who were asked to choose their favorite story told to them by someone in their own tribe. The stories are grouped under the headings: "Why Animals Are The Way They Are," "Why Our World Is Like It Is," "Great Troubles and Great Heroes," "People Can Turn Into Anything," "Brother Coyote," and "There is Magic All Around Us."
Cuevas, Lou. Apache Legends: Songs of the Wind Dancer . Happy Camp, CA: Naturegraph Publishers; 1991. 127 pages. (upper elementary).
The stories included here were originally related in song by the author's Apache grandfather ,and concern the origin of many desert creatures that are important in the Apache worldview. Many of the stories are humorous and all contain morals for instructing children to respect the power of life. A short introduction explains origins of the Apache and of the stories.
Lacapa, Michael (Apache/Hopi/Tewa); Lacapa, Michael, illus. Antelope Woman: An Apache Folktale . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1992. 42 pages. (elementary).
In this retelling of an Apache legend (no source cited), a young man appears to teach all of the people in the village to "respect all things great and small." Illustrated with large, colorful, stylized pictures.
Lacapa, Michael (Apache/Hopi/Tewa); Lacapa, Michael illus. The Flute Player: An Apache Folktale . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing Co.; 1990. 40 pages. (lower elementary).
This retelling of an Apache folktale reveals the tragic love between a flute player and a young woman whose affections the boy pursues with the beauty of his music. The author states he learned his stories from elders of the Apache tribe. Beautiful, full-color illustrations enhance this evocative tale.
Doherty, Craig; Doherty, Katherine M. The Apache and the Navajo . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1991. 64 pages. (lower elementary/upper elementary).
This book focuses on traditional life of the Navajo and the Apache, covering topics such as religion, childhood, hunting, agriculture, livestock, weapons, and craft. Each of these is clearly presented with adequate detail. The compressed introductory section on history and prehistory, however, is somewhat confusing. The chapter subdivisions make this a useful reference book, but the writing is dull. A major drawback is the lack of focus on the Navajo and Apache today (less than one page), making no mention of contemporary initiatives. Illustrated with photographs, the book includes a bibliography and an index.
Hook, Jason; Hook, Richard, illus. The Apaches . London, England: Osprey; 1987. 48 pages. (Windrow, Martin Men-at-Arms). (secondary).
Though part of a series devoted to warfare and its practice, this volume covers ecology, hunting and gathering, farming, religion, and social organization. The book discusses the different Apache tribes and their organization into clans and phratries, as well as the history of the Apache wars and their aftermath; there is no information on present-day life. The book resembles a textbook in its density of information and would serve as a good reference. Eight color plates in the center of the book depict men's and women's tribal dress. The book also includes archival photographs.
Levin, Beatrice; Vanderveld, Marjorie; Woolgar, Jack; Swartz, Darline illus. Me Run Fast Good: American Indian Biographies . Gilliland, Hap, ed. Billings, MT: Council for Indian Education; 1983. 32 pages. (upper elementary).
The halting title does not reflect the nature of this book describing the lives of three accomplished Indian individuals: Louis Tewanima (Hopi), Carlos Montezuma (Apache), and John Horse (Seminole). Tewanima achieved fame as a long distance runner at the Carlisle Indian School and as a member of the United States Olympic Team. Montezuma became a medical doctor and practiced among both Indian and non-Indian communities. John Horse served as an interpreter during meetings between the English and Seminole over the Treaty of Payne's Landing, and was a leader and chief of his people. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings.
Marrin, Albert. War Clouds in the West: Indians and Cavalrymen 1860-1890 . New York, NY: Atheneum; 1984. 220 pages. (upper elementary).
As the title indicates, this book focuses on military actions in the US-Indian wars in the West (1860--90.) The first chapter discusses traditional Plains lifeways, with much of the focus on men's activities. Subsequent chapters describe US attacks on the Cheyenne, Sioux, Nez Perce and Apache peoples, written mainly from the non-Indian point of view. Indian resistance, eventual defeat, and removal to reservations is sometimes movingly described. Though the book is overtly sympathetic to the plight of the Indians, "asides" throughout seem to assume that the reader relates more to white interests: "Best of all [the whites'] hunting rifles had telescopic sights that allowed them to knock a brave out of the saddle a half mile away." The term "brave" is used several times in the book. In one episode, Kiowa spirituality is belittled: "The Kiowas could easily have wiped out the small caravan...had their medicine man not heard an owl, his spirit helper. An owl had hooted, meaning, he said, that they must attack only the second group of whites to come along the road that day. Thus General Sherman kept his red hair thanks to a restless owl." These examples indicate a tendency to perpetuate an "us-and-them" mentality rather than seeking to bridge gaps in intercultural understanding. Illustrated with archival photographs, this book includes maps, a bibliography and an index.
Matthews, Leonard J.; Campion Geoff et al. Indians . Vero Beach, FL: Rourke Publications Inc.; 1989. 30 pages. (The Wild West in American History). (upper elementary).
This book traces the battles waged by various North American tribes and leaders---Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Quanah Parker, and Geronimo---ending with the Battle of Wounded Knee. The text is generally sympathetic to Indians but some characterizations are harsh and stereotypical, for example: "Apaches were pitiless, crafty and distrustful who fought the white men fearlessly." Illustrated with archival photographs and color illustrations, many of which concentrate on scenes of violence and show the Indians as aggressors rather than victims. Includes a chronology of events, 1680--1894.
Gall, Grant. Apache: The Long Ride Home . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1988. 112 pages. (secondary).
In this novel, the final days of the Apache resistance are recalled through the eyes of a retired Mexican sheepherder who had lived among the Apache and was a warrior for many years. The author states in the preface that "No attempt has been made to judge either side. But instead to recreate from an Indian viewpoint a vanished aspect of America's colorful and bloody heritage." The book has graphic and disturbing portrayals of Apache torture and explains the reasons for killing in Apache society. The author balances these scenes with descriptions of equally horrendous atrocities perpetrated by Mexican soldiers. In the end, the author does make a judgement when the protagonist realizes that "I could never be truly an Apache. Killing was a necessary part of the Apache fight for survival and I accepted it....And I would kill. But not in this manner. For what our brother warriors was doing was wrong."
Mayhar, Ardath. Medicine Walk . New York, NY: Atheneum; 1985. 85 pages. (upper elementary).
In this improbable, but entertaining, adventure story, a twelve-year-old, non-Indian boy, the lone survivor of a plane crash, uses the wisdom and teachings he has absorbed from Apache ranch hand, Nachito, to survive a five-day trek across the desert. Embedded in this tale of a passage-into-manhood is the concept of the value of what can be learned from another culture. This fast-paced story should enthrall young readers, though the overall tone is frequently glibly "tough."
Paulsen, Gary. Canyons . New York, NY: Delacorte Press; 1990. 184 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
In this coming-of-age novel, fifteen-year-old Brennan Cole finds the skull of an Apache boy, Coyote Runs, who was executed by soldiers in the 1860s. A "mystical link" joins the two boys and compels Brennan to defy his mother and the authorities to return the skull to an ancient "place of medicine." This book is an example of stereotypically presenting American Indians as the source of mystical events experienced by a non-Indian character.
Baker, Betty. Walk the World's Rim . New York, NY: Harper & Row; 1965. 168. (upper elementary).
In this fictional account based on actual events in the early 1500s, a fourteen-year-old Avavare boy, Chakoh, accompanies three Spaniards and their African-American slave from coastal Texas to Mexico City. The differences in lifeways among the hunter-gatherer Avavare are contrasted with those of the "buffalo people" and the farming Pima, whose lands they pass through. A map shows the route of the journey. The two major themes of the story are Chakoh's gradual disenchantment with the Spanish and his prejudice against slaves, whom he regards as cowards. Includes a bibliography.
COCHITI PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane; Migdale, Lawrence, illus. Pueblo Storyteller . New York, NY: Holiday House; 1991. 26 pages. (lower elementary) *.
Ten-year-old April tells of the Cochiti Pueblo traditions she learns from her extended family. These traditions include baking bread, making a Cochiti drum, pottery-making, and the Buffalo Dance. While the focus is on the transmission of tradition, the story shows that April is clearly a modern child. This excellent book contains a wealth of cultural information and closes with a Pueblo legend. The front of the book lists Cochiti people who can be contacted for further information. Includes a glossary and an index.
COCHITI PUEBLO FICTION
Weisman, Joan; Bradley, David P. (Chippewa), illus. The Storyteller . New York, NY: Rizzoli Intl. Pub., Inc., 1993. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
This story tells about a family from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico who temporarily move to the city while the father recovers in the hospital. Nine-year-old Rama shares her storyteller doll with Mrs. Lottie, an old woman living alone in their apartment building, leading to a friendship and the sharing of stories among Mrs. Lottie and the neighborhood children. In the afterword, a storyteller dollmaker describes the meaning of the dolls to the Cochiti people. Includes attractive full-page illustrations.
COCOPA TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baylor, Byrd. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Trails West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary)
See annotation under Apache Traditional Stories.
Hausman, Gerald; Hausman, Sid, illus. Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai People . Santa Fe, NM: Mariposa Publishing; 1989. 112 pages. (secondary).
This book consists of five contemporary stories collected by the author from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai peoples. Notes on the stories follow the collection and explain the author's personal connection to the people and events described in the stories. Topics include a Navajo teen's decision to share her sacred dream with an Anglo teacher, a Havasupai youth becoming a man in a rite-of-passage that challenges him to face his worst fear, and a Hopi girl confronting Euroamerican values when she competes in a national cross-country race. Illustrated with pencil sketches.
Warren, Scott. Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest . San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books; 1992. 55 pages. (upper elementary) *.
See annotation under Anasazi Non-Fiction.
HOPI PUEBLO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Freedman, Suzanne. Smolinski, Richard, illus. The Hopi . (Native American Peoples series.) Rourke Publications, Inc. 1997. 32 pages. (upper elementary)
The emphasis of this informative book is on the traditional life of the Hopi and covers such topics as political and social organization, food, games, clothing, religion, and daily life. Less than a page is devoted to the Hopi today, which focuses on challenges they face. Includes a chronology and index.
Malotki, Ekkehart; Lacapa, Michael, illus. The Mouse Couple: A Hopi Folktale . Northland Publishing; 1988. 56 pages. (lower elementary).
The author has attempted to preserve authentic ethnic qualities in his retelling of a Hopi folktale about a mouse couple seeking a husband for their daughter. The source of the tale is provided. Intriguing, geometric full-color illustrations complement a text that captures the feeling of oral tradition.
Nequatewa, Edmund (Hopi). Truth of a Hopi: Stories Relating to the Origin, Myths, and Clan Histories of the Hopi . Reprint of 1936 ed. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1993. 118 pages. (secondary).
This collection of stories represents the origin, traditional stories, and history of the clans of the Hopi of Arizona, from their beginnings into the 20th century. The author was a member of the One Horned Fraternity, the only Hopi society allowed to tell the stories of all the Hopi clans, who permanently recorded these traditionally oral tales in writing in 1936 so that they would not be forgotten. Extensive notes follow the stories and help explain certain aspects of Hopi culture. Includes a bibliography.
Schecter, Ellen; Kelly, Laura, illus. The Warrior Maiden: A Hopi Legend . New York, NY: Bantam Little Rooster Book; 1992. 48 pages. (Bank Street Ready-to-Read Series). (lower elementary).
A young Hopi girl, Huh-ay-ay, cleverly saves her people from Apache raiders who have come to steal the Hopi's corn. This appealing story, with attractive color illustrations, was told to Frederick Dockstader, former director of the Museum of the American Indian.
Wolkstein, Diane; Hoban, Lillian, illus. Squirrel's Song: A Hopi Indian Tale . New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf; 1976. 25 pages. (lower elementary).
This is a story based on a Hopi tale in which Chipmunk writes a song for his friend Squirrel. "Song-tying," the basis for this children's story, is not clearly explained and may confuse the non-Hopi reader.
HOPI PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Harvey, Byron III. Ritual in Pueblo Art: Hopi Life in Hopi Painting . New York, NY: Museum of the American Indian; 1970. 185 pages. (secondary).
This is a pictorial record of Second Mesa village life seen through the eyes of five contemporary Hopi artists commissioned by the Museum of the American Indian to document Hopi life. The artwork represents both abstract and realistic styles. About half of the paintings concern ritual. Others depict various aspects of everyday Hopi life. One hundred eighty-five paintings are reproduced in black-and-white, each accompanied by a description of what is represented. Indexed by subject, the book includes a bibliography.
Hausman, Gerald; Hausman, Sid, illus. Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai People . Santa Fe, NM: Mariposa Publishing; 1989. 112 pages. (secondary).
See annotation under Havasupai Non-Fiction.
Latterman, Terry; Latterman, Terry, illus. Little Joe: A Hopi Indian Boy Learns A Hopi Indian Secret . Gilbert, AZ: Pussywillow Publishing House; 1985. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
Seven-year-old Little Joe nervously anticipates his upcoming participation in the Powamu ceremony, the first step towards adulthood for a Hopi child. Parts of the ceremony are described as Little Joe is initiated into the society over the course of a week. Illustrated with drawings, many of which depict kachinas, ceremonial figures that are sacred to the Hopi and may be considered inappropriate to illustrate in this form. Includes a glossary.
Levin, Beatrice; Vanderveld, Marjorie; Woolgar, Jack; Swartz, Darline, illus. Me Run Fast Good: American Indian Biographies . Gilliland, Hap, ed. Billings, MT: Council for Indian Education; 1983, 32 pages. (upper elementary).
See annotation under Apache Non-Fiction.
Tomchek, Ann Heinrichs. The Hopi . Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1987. 45 pages. (New True Series). (lower elementary)*.
This clearly written book on the Hopi conveys a lot of information without oversimplifying. The book describes traditional male-female roles, subsistence, mythology, religion, and the Calendar of Dances, and the author's pride in tradition that continues to play an important part in modern Hopi life. Includes quality photographs and illustrations, a map of the Hopi area, a glossary, and an index.
Wheeler, M. J.; Houston, James, illus. First Came the Indians . New York: Atheneum; 1983. 26 pages. (lower elementary).
This book contains simplistic and short description of the Creek, Iroquois, Ojibwa, Sioux, Makah, and Hopi. In the two-page section on "Indians Now," the author emphasizes that Indians live much like other Americans in rural and urban areas, are employed in a variety of occupations, and hold on to many of their traditions. Includes black-and-red illustrations.
HOPI PUEBLO FICTION
Boissiere, Robert. The Hopi Way: An Odyssey . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1985. 90 pages. (secondary).
In this novel about the life of a Hopi family struggling to keep the old ways amid economic and social pressures of contemporary society, the author has "attempted to depict, as accurately as possible, the struggle for survival the Hopi people demonstrate while maintaining their true identity after 400 years of subjection to savage intrusion; first the Spanish and later, the incredible pressures of the white industrialized world." The story follows the lives of Sarah and Stewart Pamosi and their four children, and deals with issues such as boarding school, alcohol and drug use, and tribal politics. The story presents much information on traditional Hopi ways, as well. Illustrated with full-page, black-and-white photographs of Hopi kachina dolls, ceremonial figures that are sacred to the Hopi and may be considered inappropriate to illustrate in this form..
Carlson, Vada; Ooyawayma, Polingaysi; Rodrigues, Joe, illus. Broken Pattern, Sunlight and Shadows of Hopi History . Happy Camp, Ca: Naturegraph Publishers; 1985. 201 pages. (secondary).
Through the day-to-day life of a Hopi woman from adolescence to middle adulthood, the author presents a fictionalized account of Hopi life at the time of initial contact with Europeans. The story is told against a background of growing uneasiness about the rumored approach of Euroamericans. The book includes much cultural information on religion and ritual, especially that which is associated with courtship and marriage and the "Hopi Way." The publisher notes that "the traditions and environment...are authentically portrayed by the author who felt it her duty to double check her research thoroughly with knowledgeable Hopi spokespersons." While fiction makes more interesting reading than the "bare bones" of anthropological accounts, risks are inherent too. In some instances in the novel, Euro-American attitudes seem to be imposed on the Hopi characters. The heroine, for example, is horrified by an eagle sacrifice. Black-and-white drawings.
Krensky, Stephen; Watling, James, illus. Children of the Earth and Sky: Five Stories about Native American Children . New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.; 1991. 32 pages. (elementary).
This collection includes five short stories focusing on the pre-Contact lives of American Indian children from a variety of tribes. "The children in this book are imaginary but their world was very real....The stories display some of the range and variety of the Native American experience." The tribes represented are the Hopi, Comanche, Mohican, Navajo, and Mandan. Illustrated with large, colorful drawings, the book includes a map and a glossary with illustrations of dwellings characteristic of each tribe.
Price, Joan. Truth is a Bright Star . Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts; 1982. 150 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
Eleven-year-old Loma, along with several other Hopi children, is kidnaped from his home by Spanish soldiers. Loma is sold as a slave to Big Jim, a trapper, who brings him to a cabin in the mountains and forces him to set traps and kill beavers, a task which Loma finds distasteful. Although he is initially gruff and rude to Loma, Big Jim learns to appreciate the boy after he and another American Indian save his life. Loma and other kidnapped children are eventually returned to their tribe on orders of the governor. The story is based on an 1832 event in which Hopi children of Oraibi Pueblo were kidnapped and sold into slavery, and later released by order of the governor of New Mexico. Includes a glossary and comprehensive bibliography.
ISLETA PUEBLO FICTION
Buchanan, William J. One Last Time . New York, NY: Avon Books; 1992. 118 pages. (secondary).
In this adventure story set in contemporary New Mexico, fifteen-year-old David Baca, an Isleta Pueblo, describes how he and his Anglo friend Steve overcome various challenges---aggressive racist schoolmates, a wild bull, and Steve's fear of horses following an accident. While aspects of traditional Pueblo life play an important role in David's life, he is very much a product of today, and this is reflected in the language of the book.
LAGUNA PUEBLO FICTION
Silko, Leslie Marmon (Laguna Pueblo). Ceremony . New York, NY: Viking Penguin; 1977. 262 pages. (secondary) *.
In this powerful novel, the author traces a young man's quest to heal himself after he has experienced the horrors of battle in the South Pacific during World War II. Tayo, from Laguna Pueblo, emerges from the veteran's hospital emotionally and physically ill, and is consigned to the tenuous care of his aunt. After trying to drown his flashbacks in drinking bouts with his buddies, he is eventually sent to see a Navajo medicine man, who introduces him to self-rediscovery through the ceremonies of his people. The vivid and compelling narrative is laced with legends and histories of various tribes in the Southwest.
Warren, Scott. Cities in the Sand: The Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest . San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books; 1992. 55 pages (upper elementary) *.
See annotation under Anasazi Non-Fiction.
Bighorse, Tiana; Bennett, Noel, ed. Bighorse the Warrior . Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; 1990. 98 pages. (secondary) *.
This is a biography of Navajo warrior Gus Bighorse (1846?--1939) as told by his daughter in her seventies. The immediacy of a first person account in the present-tense draws the reader into the life experiences of Bighorse---the constant fear of attack, the sufferings of the Navaho Long Walk, and the deprivations of confinement at Fort Sumpter. Includes archival photographs and a chronological table of events.
Dyk, Walter, recorder. Son of Old Man Hat: A Navajo Autobiography . Reprint of 1938 ed. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press; 1970. 378 pages. (secondary).
This frank and unadorned autobiography of Old Man Hat (Navajo) recounts a wealth of detail about this man and his family's everyday concerns. Recorded in 1934, this history of Old Man Hat's growth to maturity and gradual acquisition of knowledge and wisdom makes fascinating reading.
Stewart, Irene. A Voice in her Tribe: A Navajo Woman's Own Story . Sorocco, NM: Ballena Press; 1980. 84 pages. (secondary).
This narrative of the life of Irene Stewart, Navajo woman and political leader, is written in a series of letters to anthropologist Mary Shepardson. The flavor of the author's speech and personality is maintained as she describes her experiences and expresses her feelings in her own words. Includes black-and-white photographs.
NAVAJO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baylor, Byrd. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Traisl West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary)
See annotation under Apache Traditional Stories.
Browne, Vee (Navajo); Whitehorne, Baje (Navajo), illus. Monster Slayer . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1991. 25 pages. (elementary).
Based on a traditional Navajo story, this retelling is a partial re-creation, representing one portion of the original Monster Slayer story. The editor states that "The Walking Giant is one of four monsters who plague the Anasazi villages. We chose...to focus on this monster because it is after the Twins' encounter with the Walking Giant that the name Monster Slayer is bestowed."
Coehlene, Terri; Reasoner, Charles, illus. Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend . Mahwah, NJ: Watermill Press; 1990. 47 pages. (lower elementary).
This story describes how horses were brought to the Navajo by Turquoise Boy. A ten-page section of information on Navajo history and contemporary life follows the story. No source is given for the original legend. Illustrated with full-color drawings in the legend section and photographs in the factual section, the book includes a list of important dates and a glossary.
Hausman, Gerald; Fox, Mariah and de Groat, Jay (Navajo), illus. The Gift of The Gila Monster: Navajo Ceremonial Tales . New York, NY: Simon & Schuster; 1933. 204 pages. (secondary) *.
The re-teller of these traditional Navajo ceremonial stories describes them as "the lessons of many lifetimes, the Ways that have guided The People from prehistoric time, as they tell it, into the twentieth century." The collection includes Navajo ceremonial songs, tales, and chants, as well as black-and-white line reproductions of sandpainting motifs. An informative and thoughtful introduction explains the history, creation, use, and purpose of Navajo ceremonies, their traditional practice, and their significance to contemporary Navajo life. An afterword explores the subject of "The Ways" as they pertain to the contemporary life of the Navajos. Includes a foreword by Tony Hillerman, a detailed glossary, and a bibliography.
Morgan, William collector; Thompson, Hildegard, adaptor; Lind, Jenny, illus. Navajo Coyote Tales . Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1988. 49 pages. (lower elementary).
These six delightful tales about Coyote the trickster were highly adapted for beginning readers in 1949 by the BIA. The stories were collected directly from the Navajo and translated into English.
Newcomb, Franc Johnson; Clah, Alfred (Navajo), illus. Navaho Folk Tales . Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 1967. 203 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This collection of traditional Navajo legends was compiled by Franc Johnson Newcomb, who collected the stories from the Navajo people she met while living in a trading post home north of Gallup, New Mexico. Legends include origin stories and stories of interactions between humans and animals. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Oughton, Jerrie; Desimini, Lisa, illus. How The Stars Fell Into The Sky: A Navajo Legend . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin; 1992. 27 pages. (elementary).
This retelling of a legend was "told to the Navajo Indians by Hosteen Klah, their great medicine man, at the turn of the 20th century" recounting how the constellations were formed. Includes stunning full-page, color illustrations.
Red Hawk, Richard (Wyandot). Grandfather's Origin Story: The Navajo Beginning . Newcastle, CA: Sierra Oaks Publishing Company; 1988. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
This book is a retelling, in simple language, of the basic elements of the Navajo creation story. Readers may have difficulty appreciating this complex story in such an abbreviated form. Includes black-and-white line drawings.
Red Hawk, Richard (Wyandot); Coates, Ross, illus. Grandfather's Story of Navajo Monsters . Sacramento, CA: Sierra Oaks Publishers; 1988. 40 pages. (lower elementary).
A grandfather recounts Navajo monster myths to his grandchildren during an outing to the Anasazi ruins in Canyon del Muerto. Blue, black, and white illustrations depict suitably horrific monsters.
Roessel, Robert A. Jr; Platero, Dillon, eds; Mitchell, George, illus. Coyote Stories of the Navajo People . Phoenix, AZ: Navajo Curriculum Center Press; 1974. 118 pages. (lower elementary).
This collection consists of fourteen traditional Navajo Coyote stories developed by the Navajo Curriculum Center for use in reservation schools. Charming color drawings illustrate these humorous tales that are told to reinforce moral values and social harmony.
Rucki, Ani. Turkey's Gift to the People . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1992. 28 pages. (elementary).
This story based on a traditional Navajo folktale is "not meant to be an accurate retelling...but an adaptation and interpretation...." When the lives and homes of all the animals are threatened with destruction, turkey remembers to save seeds necessary for replanting their crops. This story reinforces the importance of each individual in society and the need to cooperate to maintain harmony. Illustrated with colorful, highly stylized drawings.
Yazzie, Ethelou ed. (Navajo); Tsihnahjinnie, Andy (Navajo), illus; Hoffman, Martin, photog. Navajo History . Many Farms, AZ: Navajo Community College Press; 1971. 100 pages. (elementary/secondary).
The Navajo creation story has been recorded several times by folklorists and ethnographers. This version, prepared by the Navajo Curriculum Center, is written by and for Navajo people, as "a summary for our youth" of "unrecorded history." It describes the People's journey from the First up to the Fourth World, the creation of humans, human society, the physical world, the adventures of the twin hero figures---Monster Slayer and Child Born of Water---and the origin and meaning of certain rituals. The text is spare and the language simple, but non-Navajo students would need background and guidance to appreciate the significance of the events described. Illustrated with full-color and black-and-white drawings; black-and-white photographs depict some locales featured in the story.
Abeita, Jim (Navajo); Abeita, Jim, illus. The American Indians of Abeita: "His People." Scottsdale, AZ: Rick Tanner Publications; 1976. 74 pages. (secondary).
This pictorial "cultural history" of the Navajo uses the artwork of Navajo painter Jim Abeita to depict "their ways of life and the beauty of their land." Some of the paintings depict nude subjects. Includes an introduction.
Bia, Fred (Navajo), photog; McCarty, T. L. Of Mother Earth and Father Sky: A Photographic Study of Navajo Culture. Rough Rock, AZ: Navajo Curriculum Center; 1983. 69 pages. (secondary) *.
This beautiful series of black-and-white prints by Navajo photographer Fred Bia tells a story about the Navajo people. "It is a story about...their hopes and their problems, the strategies they have adopted to cope with the problems, and their feelings about the land which provides a basis for their livelihood." The text provides a brief history of the Navajo, stressing struggle and adjustment as a basic theme. This book was published by the Rough Rock Demonstration School as part of a project to produce a series of high quality curriculum materials for Navajo and other Native American students.
Callaway, Sydney; Denetsosie, Hoke and Beck, Clifford Jr, illus. Grandfather Stories of the Navajos . Rough Rock, AZ: Rough Rock Press; 1974. 123 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This work was prepared primarily for Navajo boys and girls, although the Board of Education at the Rough Rock Demonstration School states that the book can "contribute significantly toward a broader understanding among all people." The book includes traditional stories, accounts of events of the last two hundred years, and information on traditional lifeways, all illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Another section describes the importance of remembering traditional Navajo ways. The book includes Navajo translations for many of its sections. Includes a foreword, preface, and introduction.
Clark, Ann Nolan; Denetsosie, Hoke (Navajo), illus. Little Herder in Autumn . Reprint of Dept. of Interior 1940 ed. Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1988. 96 pages. (lower elementary) *.
A young Navajo girl describes her family life in this bilingual (Navajo/English) text, which also details women's weaving activities, and men making jewelry, planting, and trading. Includes the Navajo alphabet and information about its development.
Crowder, Jack L.; Morgan, William Sr., trans. Stephannie and the Coyote . 3rd revised ed. Bernalillo, NM: Upper Strata Ink. Inc.. 32 pages. (lower elementary) *.
Stephannie, a young Navajo girl, gives a first-person account of a typical day that starts with rising early to eat a big breakfast before tending to the sheep. Full-page color photographs bring this charming story to life. Text includes a Navajo translation.
Cunningham, Keith. American Indians' Kitchen Table Stories . Little Rock, AR: August House Publishers, Inc. 240 pages. (W.K. McNeil, Gen. Ed. American Folklore Series). (secondary).
Transcripts from a folklorist's collection of stories, anecdotes, and jokes are interspersed with an account of his experiences in collecting the data. Topics cover the blending of traditional and modern approaches to medicine (including New Age); adoption and adaptation of contemporary Euroamerican stories (such as the poodle in the microwave) in American Indian jokes; and the extent to which traditional values are retained by American Indians moving into urban areas. One chapter is devoted to an examination and categorizing of Navajo humor. The study's stated aim is to achieve better understanding of modern American Indian life and values through their stories. Perhaps it was the author's hope that the cumulative effect of his interviews would provide that understanding. Some readers, however, may desire more structured analysis of his data and formal conclusions.
Doherty, Craig; Doherty, Katherine M. The Apache and the Navajo . New York, NY: Franklin Watts; 1991. 64 pages. (lower elementary/upper elementary).
See annotation under Apache Non-Fiction.
Garaway, Margaret Kahn; Bia, Andrew Emerson (Navajo). The Old Hogan . Cortez, O: Mesa Verde Press; 1986. 33 pages. (lower elementary).
This story is told from the point of view of a Navajo hogan that is abandoned by its family when the family moves into a new Euroamerican-style house. The hogan feels lonely and sad when the family leaves. The story later demonstrates the importance and significance of this traditional Navajo residence to its people when the family returns to the hogan for a wedding ceremony saying, "Houses are not for ceremonies. Hogans are for ceremonies." Includes full-page color illustrations.
Garaway, Margaret Kahn; Warren, Harry (Navajo), illus. Ashkii and His Grandfather . Tucson, AZ: Treasure Chest Publications, Inc.; 1989. 33 pages. (elementary).
Six-year-old Ashkii spends the summer with his grandfather at their sheep camp. Ashkii is reluctant to return home when he must start school, but later learns the importance of education when his family and teacher encourage his artistic abilities. "I will learn in school so someday I will be a good Navajo artist," says Ashkii at the end of the story. Includes large, appealing watercolor drawings.
Hausman, Gerald. Sitting On The Blue-Eyed Bear . Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill & Co.; 1975. 130 pages. (secondary).
This collection of Navajo stories and poems is preceded by an introduction that includes a short history of the Navajo and a description of the Navajo today. Part One begins with a retelling of the Navajo origin story, followed by a selection of poems related to themes of origin and journey. Part Two includes an informative description of curing ceremonies, followed by medicine stories, and a series of poems about Navajo ceremonies. Additional explanatory information follows each poem. The book is illustrated with black-and-white pencil drawings, and includes a bibliography.
Hausman, Gerald; Hausman, Sid, illus. Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Havasupai People . Santa Fe, NM; Mariposa Publishing; 1989. 112 pages.
See annotation under Havasupai Fiction.
Hoffman, Virginia; Denetsosie, Hoke (Navajo), illus. Lucy Learns To Weave: Gathering Plants . Rough Rock, AZ: Navajo Curriculum Center; 1969. 46 pages. (lower elementary).
This reader, part of a series from the Navajo Curriculum Center at Rough Rock Demonstration School, was designed to provide Navajo children with relevant reading materials. "The cultural details are accurate, taken from the true life stories of several fine Navajo weavers. The main point is to provide the children learning to read with materials with which they can identify personally in a positive way." Attractive, large black-and-white drawings by a Navajo artist illustrate the short, simple text describing a girl and her sister on a walk collecting plants to dye the yarn their mother will use for weaving. Because the text does not clarify how plants are used to make dye for the wool, non-Navajo children may not understand the connection between the plants and the weaving process.
Hooker, Kathy Eckles; Running, Helen Lau, photog. Time Among the Navajo: Traditional Lifeways on the Reservation . Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press; 1991. 104 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.
A "personal documentary of the traditional lifeways practiced by the Navajos living on ancestral lands," this book provides thoughtful records of the author's visits with Navajo on Big Reservation. Words and pictures combine to illustrate the traditional tasks of the Navajo: weaving, cooking, gardening, building, and crafts, as they share personal thoughts and beliefs relating to their lives and work. Includes black-and-white duotone photographs.
Hotvedt, Kris; Hotvedt, Kris, illus. Fry Breads, Feast Days, and Sheeps: Stories of Contemporary Indian Life . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1987. 47 pages. (elementary).
Each page of charming woodcuts depicting Navajo and Pueblo contemporary festivities and communal activities is accompanied by informative text on the opposite page. Some of the events portrayed include Kings' Day (Epiphany, January 6), spring ditch cleaning, a Navajo fair, wedding feast, and All Soul's Day eve. Includes a preface by Frank Waters.
Iverson, Peter. The Navajos . New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1990. 111 pages. (Frank W. Porter III, Gen. Ed. Indians of North America). (secondary).
This is a history of the Navajos, who live in northeastern Arizona and portions of New Mexico and Utah. The book describes traditional lifestyle (c. mid-19th century), followed by information on the Navajo's early associations with Pueblo farmers and with the Spanish. Clashes with the U.S. Army led to the Navajo's surrender and the Long Walk to Ft. Sumner. They eventually returned to their homeland, where the Navajo reservation was established. The book documents Navajo prosperity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the influence of Christian missionaries and non-Indian traders upon Navajo culture in that same period. The book also details the massive political, economic, and social transitions faced by the Nation in the modern era. Includes a color photographic essay on silver and wool crafts, the Navajo-At-A-Glance, a bibliography, and an index.
Kawano, Kenji, photog. Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing Company; 1990. 100 pages. (secondary).
This is a collection of photographs of the World War II Navajo Code Talkers taken in the 1970s and 1980s, accompanied by brief quotes about each individual's war experiences. An introduction tells the history and development of the Navajo Code, adapted from the Navajo language to send secret messages that could not be interpreted by the enemy. It was used with great success. The book includes a list of Navajo clans.
Keegan, Marcia, photog. Mother Earth and Father Sky . New York, NY: Grossman Publishers; 1974. 111 pages. (secondary).
Striking color photographs of the land and people of the Southwest are combined with Navajo and Pueblo chants in this profusely illustrated volume. The author "...attempts to show the beauty and harmony with nature that Navajo and Pueblo Indians enjoy....Through the photographs, I have tried to recreate the sense of wonder and harmony with nature which is the integral part of Indian life." Sources are cited for the chants.
Preusch, Deb; Barry, Tom; Wood, Beth. Red Ribbons for Emma . Stanford, CA: New Seed Press; 1981. 48 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.
This book provides an inspiring account of Emma Yazzie, a rural Navajo currently living on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Emma was born on the reservation and has lived there her entire life. Since the Four Corners Power Plant, fed by the largest coal mine in the United States, was built next to the reservation, Emma's life has changed dramatically. Gas pipelines and power lines now cross the once-pristine landscape of Emma's youth. Chemicals and soot from the plant's smokestacks cloud the air. Grassy lands once open to Emma for grazing her sheep are now encircled with barbed wire and locked gates. The book records Emma's reactions to the power plant and its negative impact on her life. "It makes Emma angry to see that the companies have the things she needs but can't have." Emma is portrayed as brave and courageous in her struggle against the power plant. Ultimately, she draws great strength from the grassroots movement that stresses that Navajo people "should have more to say about what to do with their own land," a concept reiterated when the book encourages the Navajo to join together for a cause they believe is important. If available through inter-library loan, this book, now unfortunately out-of-print, is well worth reading.
Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk (Sioux); Himler, Ronald.The Navajos . New York, NY: Holiday House; 1993. 32 pages. (A First Americans Books). (upper elementary).
A brief overview of Navajo history, lifeways, and culture, this book offers an abbreviated version of the Navajo creation story and describes the migration of the Navajo from the Pacific Coast to their present homeland in New Mexico and Arizona. The book also included information on Navajo-Euroamerican conflicts, Navajo traditions and culture, and resettlement, trade, and the Navajos today. An author's note explains that "the information in this book barely touches on Navajo history, culture, and present life," and suggests contacting the Navajo Curriculum Center at Rough Rock Demonstration School for more in-depth information on these topics. Illustrated with beautiful watercolor illustrations.
Wood, Leigh Hope. The Navajo Indians . New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1991. 80 pages. (The Junior Library of American Indians). (upper elementary).
A simply written reference on the Navajo, this book includes information on Navajo creation stories and mythology, cultural heritage and lifeways, contact with Spanish and Euroamerican settlers, boarding schools and reservation life, legal disputes with the U.S. government, and the development of the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity and the Navajo Nation. One chapter explores the critical help given to the U.S. Army by Navajo Codetalkers during World War II. A color photograph section illustrates traditional Navajo arts and crafts. Includes black-and-white maps, drawings, and photographs; a glossary and a chronology.
Armer, Laura Adams. Waterless Mountain . Reprint of 1931 ed. Chicago, IL: Longman's Green & Co.; 1931. 212 pages. (upper elementary).
A young Navajo boy, training to become a medicine man, sets off for the West Coast to visit the home of the legendary Turquoise Woman. The book includes much information on Navajo legends and belief in this fictional story set in the 1930s. There is a somewhat patronizing attitude of the "do-gooder" non-Indians in the story. The author attempts to put us in the mind of the youth to understand his reactions to the world. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Blood, Charles L.; Link, Martin; Parker, Nancy Winston, illus. The Goat in the Rug . New York, NY: Macmillan Child Group; 1990. 40 pages. (lower elementary) *.
This is an amusing and enchanting story narrated by a goat whose wool goes into the making of a Navajo blanket. The book describes the steps involved, from the clipping and carding to the dyeing and the weaving. Much cultural information is presented in an engaging manner. Colorful drawings illustrate this lighthearted, imaginative, and successful presentation.
Cannon, A. E. The Shadow Brothers . New York, NY: Delacorte Press; 1990. 179 pages. (secondary).
Henry Yazzie is a seventeen-year-old Navajo boy who has been living with the family of his father's friend in Utah since age seven. Henry's foster brother Marcus feels their close relationship is threatened by Henry's emerging interest in returning to the Navajo reservation to learn more about his heritage from his grandfather. The novel captures an element of contemporary Navajo culture that encourages young people to combine the best of both the Navajo and the Anglo worlds.
Crowder, Jack L. Tonibah and the Rainbow . Bernalillo, NM: Upper Strata Ink, Inc.; 1986. 32 pages. (elementary) *.
This short story , told in Navajo and English, is about a contemporary Navajo family whose hogan burns down, and their neighbors' efforts to help them rebuild their home. Illustrated with color photographs, the book includes an illustrated Navajo alphabet and a noun glossary.
Fox, Robert B. Walks Two Worlds . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1983. 62 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
Set in 1929 in "Navajo Country," this short novel opens with thirteen-year-old Clay Walker in the desert with his grandfather White Horse. White Horse gives his grandson a Navajo name, Walks Two Worlds, and explains to him that his mission in life first will be to learn all he can about traditional Navajo ways. He must then leave to live among non-Indians so that he may learn all he can from them as well---to walk the two worlds. Clay confronts his fears about leaving, before finally accepting the responsibility his people have given him. Much information about traditional Navajo ceremonies is presented as Clay is instructed over the course of a nine-day "sing."
Garaway, Margaret Kahn; Lowmiller, Cathie, illus. Dezbah and the Dancing Tumbleweeds . Tucson, AZ: Treasure Chest Publications Inc. 82 pages. (upper elementary).
In this contemporary novel, a young Navajo girl, Dezbah, who wanted to become an Olympic athlete, cannot walk following a car accident. A non-Indian teacher, Miss Julie, gives Dezbah, now confined to a wheelchair, private lessons in reading, classical music, and ballet. A trip to a ballet performance inspires Dezbah to overcome her fear of walking. With continuing encouragement from Miss Julie, and with her parents' blessing, she eventually leaves the reservation to study ballet in New York. This enjoyable story demonstrates that Dezbah can remain Navajo and yet pursue a career as a non-traditional profession. This reflects the Navajo educational philosophy that encourages incorporating the best of both Anglo and Navajo worlds.
Gessner, Lynne; Bock, William Sauts, illus. Malcolm Yuccaseed . New York, NY: Harvey House Publishers; 1977. 63 pages. (elementary).
In this coming-of-age story, Malcolm, a young Navajo boy, home from boarding school for the summer, wants so badly to earn his Navajo name that he lies about a brave deed he performed while guarding his father's sheep. Eventually Malcolm earns the name Yucca Seed, not for bravery but for concern and forethought. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings.
Grammer, Maurine; Cleveland, Fred (Navajo), illus. The Navajo Brothers and the Stolen Herd . Santa Fe, NM: Red Crane Books; 1992. 103 pages. (upper elementary).
Sixteen-year-old Chee and his fourteen-year-old brother, Pahee, are responsible for their family's herd of sheep. This short novel follows the Navajo boys' adventures when the sheep are stolen. and they follow the thieves and attempt to retrieve the flock. From references made to the Vietnam War, it is clear that the story is contemporary; however, the boys dress in traditional clothing and apparently do not attend school. The outlaws who steal the sheep talk like characters out of a 1930s gangster film ("Keep clear of Silver City. Your friends there have stretched hemp by now, unless they're studyin' navigation at Alcatraz. And don't forget what a moll does in our business.") All in all, the characters, dialogue, and plot seem improbable (if not preposterous) and thus the book is not a good source of information on the contemporary Navajo. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings.
Green, Timothy; Green, Timothy, illus. The Mystery of Navajo Moon . Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publishing; 1991. 41 pages. (lower elementary).
In this fantasy, young Navajo Wilma Charley goes riding on a magical dream horse. The story contains no cultural information. Includes attractive full-color illustrations.
Hillerman, Tony. Talking God . New York: Harper & Row; 1989. 239 pages. (secondary).
This is one in a series of mystery novels whose protagonists are Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, two tribal policemen on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. In this story, a body is found within throwing distance of the railroad tracks near Gallup, New Mexico and the only information available on the victim is the name Agnes Tsosie, and the Yeibichai, or Navajo Night Chant healing ceremony. Chee attends this ceremony, where he arrests Henry Highhawk, a Smithsonian conservator, who is wanted by federal investigators for digging up a fellow curator's relative's bones and sending them to her in protest of the museum's policy of not returning American Indian skeletons to tribes. The threads of the story are drawn together at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. in a vivid, exciting ending. This novel has contemporary, realistic American Indian characters, and tells much about Navajo customs and beliefs---both traditional and contemporary. Some racial epithets are used by one of the characters. It should be noted that the Smithsonian Institution, under the National Museum of the American Indian Act, has been actively engaged in the return of human remains and funerary objects to American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
Krensky, Stephen; Watling, James, illus. Children of the Earth and Sky: Five Stories about Native American Children . New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.; 1991. 32 pages. (elementary).
See annotation under Hopi Fiction.
Miles, Miska; Parnall, Peter, illus. Annie and the Old One . Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.; 1985. 44 pages. (lower elementary) *.
In this contemporary story, Annie finds it difficult to accept her grandmother's impending death until the grandmother explains that death is part of the ongoing cycle of life. This poignant message is told in simple language and illustrated with beautiful black-and-white drawings.
Momaday, N. Scott (Kiowa). Owl in the Cedar Tree . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press; 1965. 116 pages. (upper elementary) *.
Haske, a young Navajo boy, lives with his parents and his grandfather, who represent modern and traditional views of life, respectively. His parents, educated at government boarding schools, stress the importance of going to school and learning the ways of non-Native society to help bring greater understanding between people of different cultures. His grandfather, on the other hand, tells him he can only follow one way and that following the non-traditional path will offend the Navajo gods. Haske learns that he can contribute to both worlds and that the hoot of the owl does not always bring bad fortune.
O'Dell, Scott. Sing Down the Moon . New York, NY: Dell; 1976. 138 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
The story of the Navajo's forced migration from their original homeland in Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico (a 300-mile walk) is told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old Navajo girl, Bright Morning, in this historical novel set in the 1860s. The book recounts the tragic deprivations suffered by the group both during and after the migration (1500 Navajo died from disease at Fort Sumner). A postscript to the book gives the historical background for the story.
Perrine, Mary; Weisgard, Leonard, illus. Nannabah's Friend . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1989. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
A young Navajo girl, Nannabah, guards her family's sheep alone for the first time. In this gentle story, Nannabah eases her loneliness on the first day by making two dolls from clay. The following day she unexpectedly has company when her dolls come to life. Includes color illustrations.
Pitts, Paul. Racing the Sun . New York, NY: Avon Books; 1988. 150 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
In this modern-day novel, twelve-year-old Brandon, the son of Navajo parents, learns about his Navajo heritage from his paternal grandfather, who has come from the reservation to stay with Brandon's family. Through his grandfather's teachings, Brandon, who founded UGA (Underachieving Goof-offs of America) along with his friend Ham, becomes more aware of the important things in life such as hard work and pride in one's own heritage. Ham's wealthy Jewish grandfather is stereotypically portrayed as loud and embarrassing. Another passage describes Ham's mother taking "extra napkins [at an ice cream parlor] and tucking them in her purse."
Pitts, Paul. The Shadowman's Way . New York, NY: Avon Books; 1992. 120 pages. (secondary).
Nelson Sam, a Navajo teenager, must overcome his own discomfort and the ridicule of his Navajo peers when he becomes friends with a "Bilaganna" (white boy), Spencer West, who moves onto the reservation. The issue of prejudice is explored through the perspective of a teenager learning to stand up for his beliefs.
PAPAGO (See TOHONO O'ODHAM)
PICURIS PUEBLO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Harrington, John P., collector; Roberts, Helen H., musical transcriptions/Weigle, Marta, ed. Indian Tales from Picuris Pueblo . Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1989. 96 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This collection of stories from Picuris Pueblo in New Mexico was originally published in the Forty-third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology , 1925-1926. The stories were collected by Rosendo Vargas of Picuris Pueblo and given to ethnologist John P. Harrington for use in his research on the language of the Taos Pueblo. This book reprints the children's stories and "folkways" sections of Harrington's original published report. Stories present characters such as Magpietail Boy, Sister Fawns, and Old Coyote; some of the stories contain Native songs and music. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs, the book includes musical transcriptions, notes on the stories, an afterward, and a bibliography.
PIMA TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baylor, Bird. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Trails West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary).
See annotation under Apache Traditional Stories.
Shaw, Anna Moore (Pima); Tashquinth, Matt (Pima), illus. Pima Indian Legends . Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press; 1992. 111 pages. (elementary/secondary).
This collection of entertaining and instructive Pima legends represents stories related throughout the author's childhood by her father. The introduction indicates that "this little book shows something of the process of cultural change," because the legends it contains "have been modified over the years as a reflection of changes in the cultural traditions of those who learned them." Each legend is illustrated with a black-and-white line drawing.
Baylor, Bird; Himler, Ronald, illus. Moon Song . New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons; 1982. 20 pages. (lower elementary).
A short, poetically written, and appealing work about the relationship between Coyote and his mother, the moon, who abandons him. The story takes place in Pima land. It is not clear that the story is drawn from a Pima legend, as no source is cited.
PIMA MARICOPA NON-FICTION
Dobyns, Henry F. The Pima-Maricopa . New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1989. 111 pages. (Frank W. Porter III, Gen. Ed. Indians of North America). (secondary).
This well-researched and detailed history of the Pima-Maricopa concentrates on the tribe's relations with the United States rather than on traditional Pima-Maricopa life. The discussion of religion, for instance, focuses on Christianity as practiced by the Pima-Maricopa. Includes a bibliography, glossary, and "Facts-At-A- Glance."
Fontana, Bernard L.; Schaefer, John P., photog. Of Earth and Little Rain: the Papago Indians . Flagstaff, AZ: University of Arizona Press; 1990. 170 pages. (secondary).
Lovely photographs illustrate the desert environment and culture of the contemporary Pima-Papago of Arizona and Mexico. This informal narrative includes descriptions of the environment, traditional Pima and Papago subsistence, Spanish missions and influence, Papago-Apache hostility, and tribal government. Includes a selected bibliography and an index.
PUEBLO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Carey, Valerie Scho; Barnett, Ivan, illus. Quail Song . New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1990. 28 pages. (lower elementary).
The author has used several traditional Pueblo tales to create a new and appealing story in which Quail tricks Coyote. Text and illustrations (striking full-color collage folk art) complement each other to produce a sprightly, lighthearted book.
Batherman, Muriel; Batherman, Muriel, illus. Before Columbus . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.; 1990. 32 pages. (elementary).
This simply written book focuses on the culture and artifacts of the early inhabitants of the Southwest---the Basketmakers and early Puebloan people---from A.D. 1 to A.D. 1300. Includes watercolor illustrations.
Bruggman, Maximilien, photog; Acatos, Sylvio. Pueblos: Prehistoric Indian Cultures of the Southwest . Translation of Die Pueblos , 1989 Swiss ed. New York, NY: Facts-on-File; 1990. 240 pages. (secondary).
This book traces the development of the three main Pueblo cultures---Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon---with 300 beautiful photographs of archaeological sites, petroglyphs, and material culture. Includes an annotated list of Southwest sites by state, a bibliography, and an index.
Folsom, Franklin; Roybal, J. D., illus. Red Power on the Rio Grande: The Native American Revolution of 1680 . Billings, Montana: Council for Indian Education; 1989. 144 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) *.
In his eloquent introduction, anthropologist Alphonso Ortiz calls the uprising of the Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande area of New Mexico against the government of Spain the "first American revolution." This event occurred in l680, 96 years before the American Revolution, and it occurred for some of the same reasons: unfair taxation and the tyranny of a foreign power, as well as religious oppression and a violent system of forced labor. Although all remaining written documentation of this period is from the Spaniards, the author has taken pains to research and tell this story from the Pueblo perspective. He gives the English equivalent of Pueblo place names and phrases, describes their complex society and multiple languages, their sophisticated plan for revolution and some details of their ceremonies. Includes a short glossary of Pueblo people and the gods mentioned in the story.
Hotvedt, Kris; Hotvedt, Kris, illus. Fry Breads, Feast Days, and Sheeps: Stories of Contemporary Indian Life . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone press; 1987. 47 pages. (elementary). See annotation under Navajo Non-Fiction.
Keegan, Marcia photog. Mother Earth and Father Sky . New York, NY: Grossman Publishers; 1974. 111 pages. (secondary). See annotation under Navajo Non-Fiction.
Jones, Dewitt; Cordell, Linda S. Anasazi World . Portland, OR: Graphic Arts Publishing Company; 1985. 87 pages. (secondary).
See annotation under Anasazi Non-Fiction.
Nabokov, Peter. Indian Running: Native American History and Tradition . 2nd ed. Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1987. 208 pages. (secondary).
In 1980 a group of young Pueblo ran more than 375 miles in a reenactment of the 1680 courier mission that triggered the Pueblo Revolt. Using this event as a framework, the ancient roots of Native running in the Americas are explored in this well-researched book. The author points out that "Before the coming of the white man Indians ran to communicate, fight, and hunt. But...they also ran to enact their myths, and to create a bridge between themselves and the forces of the universe." The book is illustrated with black-and-white photographs of the Tricentennial run, as well as many fine archival photographs of Indian runners. Includes extensive notes (sources are cited) and an index.
Sando, Joe S. (Jemez). Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History . Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers; 1992. 282 pages. (secondary) *.
This well-written history, by a historian from Jemez Pueblo, of the nineteen New Mexico Pueblos contains a wealth of useful information. The book describes contemporary Pueblo governmental systems and tribal structures and explores the complexity of tribal-state relationships. In addition to a chapter that reviews the effects of Columbus's arrival on the Pueblo nations, the book provides information on traditional Pueblo history, religion, economy, and culture, as well as historical background on the Pueblos.
Underhill, Ruth. Life in the Pueblos . Reprint of 1946 ed. Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1991. 154 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.
This book describes aspects of everyday Pueblo life in the 1880s. The opening chapter briefly indicates the geographic location and environment of the various pueblos. Extensive treatment is given to farming, gathering, and hunting; cooking and related tools and rituals; housebuilding; and clothes-making. Descriptions and explanations are clear and the language simple and direct. By such devices as "inviting" the reader into a Pueblo home where the hostess talks about how it was built, the author gives her text immediacy and vitality. Chapters on village and family life cover games, travel, trade, war and the various rituals connected with birth, initiation, marriage, and death. A brief concluding chapter gives an update on Pueblo life from the 1880s to the present. Includes black-and-white photographs and illustrations.
Yue, David and Charlotte. The Pueblo . Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin; 1989. 117 pages. (lower elementary).
This well-researched work covers Southwest environment, traditional pueblo buildings and their furnishings, and community life. The overwhelming amount of information provided is sometimes choppy in presentation. A final brief chapter describes the Pueblo today. The book is illustrated with excellent black-and-white drawings of pueblo construction and cultural items. Includes a list of suggested readings, a bibliography, and an index.
Hausman, Gerald; Hausman, Sid, illus. Turtle Dream: Collected Stories from the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo and Havasupai People. Santa Fe, NM: Mariposa Publishing; 1989. 112 pages. (secondary).
See annotation under Havasupai Fiction.
McNickle, D'Arcy (Salish/Kootenai); Houser, Allan C., illus. Runner in the Sun: A Story of Indian Maize . Reprint of 1954 ed. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 1987. pages. (secondary).
This is a novel for young readers about pre-Hispanic Pueblo life in the Southwest. Sixteen-year-old Salt is sent on a long and dangerous journey to the "Land of the Fable" (the Valley of Mexico) to find something that might save his people who are threatened by drought, poverty, and internal political struggles between two rival clans. When Salt returns with a new type of higher-yielding corn, he is eventually made village chief and leads his people south when there is no longer any rain in their homeland. An informative afterword by Alfonso Ortiz places the novel in its historical context, written when the federal government's termination policy posed a threat. Ortiz further sees the novel as "a frontal assault on many negative stereotypes long prevalent in American culture, stereotypes which had as their purpose to alienate Indians from their land."
Vallo, Lawrence Jonathan; Vallo, Lawrence Jonathan, illus. Tales of a Pueblo Boy . Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press; 1987. 48 pages. (upper elementary).
This is a story of Rabbit, a young Pueblo boy, and the lifeways and lessons taught to him by his revered grandfather. This charming book portrays the activities---both survival and ceremonial---of Rabbit and his family, with a strong emphasis on the importance of cultural and familial bonds. Illustrated with black-and-white sketches by the author, the book includes an epilogue explaining the memories and recollections that provided the inspiration for these stories. He writes: "...a very satisfying sense of comfort and strength pervades my person from these memories...I was taught the values of a happy, thankful, and hard working people. Values that have stood me in great stead all of my life."
QUECHAN TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baylor, Byrd. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Trails West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary).
See annotation under Apache Traditional Stories.
SAN ILDEFONSO PUEBLO BIOGRAPHIES
Anderson, Peter. Maria Martinez: Pueblo Potter . Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1992. 32 pages. (elementary)*.
This biography presents the life of Maria Martinez, a Pueblo woman who became well known for her pottery-making skills, artistry, and craftsmanship. In the early 1900s, Martinez was asked to fashion some of her pottery in a style based on Anasazi pieces found at a site near her San Ildefonso, New Mexico home. This pottery became very popular with collectors and eventually led to a lucrative business, as well as critical acclaim from the art world for Martinez and her work. The book describes the development of Martinez's artistic skills and emphasizes her philosophy that the art of shaping clay is "all about sharing...taking the old ways of her ancestors and passing them on." Illustrated with black-and-white archival photographs, the book includes an index and a timeline.
Gray, Samuel. Tonita Pena: Quah Ah . Albuquerque, NM: Avanyo Publishing Inc.; 1990. 72 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
This biography of Tonita Pena (1893--1949), the only woman in the San Ildefonso "Self-Taught Group" of artists, is compiled from family history and recollections of friends and family members. The book describes everyday Pueblo life in the 1930s and 1940s; the final chapter discusses Mrs. Pena's art. Illustrated with photographs and forty-four reproductions of the artist's work, the book includes a bibliography and genealogical chart of Tonita Pena's family.
SAN ILDEFONSO PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Keegan, Marcia; Keegan, Marcia, photog. Pueblo Boy: Growing up in Two Worlds . New York, NY: Cobblehill Books; 1991. 42 pages. (lower elementary). *.
This book describes the daily life of Timmy, a young San Ildefonso Pueblo boy, who straddles two worlds---the modern world of computers and Walkmans and the traditional world in which he participates in cultural traditions of his people. Timmy's mother, a computer programmer, and his father, a museum curator, combine the modern with the traditional through their activities at work and at home. Full-color photographs show Timmy at school and at home with members of his family.
SAN JUAN PUEBLO BIOGRAPHY
Josephy, Alvin M. Jr. The Patriot Chiefs: A Chronicle of American Indian Resistance . New York, NY: Penguin Books; 1961. 364 pages. (secondary).
This book recounts the life stories of nine outstanding leaders in Indian resistance, from different times, places, and nations. The author explains, "While this is not a history of American Indians...the subjects were selected to provide variety in Indian backgrounds and culture, geographic areas, and historic periods, and particular large-scale problems that led to crises and conflicts. Arranged chronologically, they help to convey in ordered sense a narrative outline of much Indian history." Although it was published thirty years ago, this book remains one of the best written and most readable books of its kind. Included are biographies of Hiawatha, King Philip, Pope, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola, Black Hawk, Crazy Horse, and Chief Joseph.
SANTA ANA PUEBLO FICTION
Bliss, Ronald G.; Herman, Richard C., illus. Eagle Trap . 2nd ed. Los Altos Hills, CA: Davenport; 1990. 108 pages. (lower elementary).
In this fictional story, not based on a traditional tale, a coyote and a badger free an eagle trapped for ceremonial purposes by people of the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico. An introductory note describes the Santa Ana in the past tense rather than as a contemporary culture. Includes black-and-white illustrations and a pronunciation guide.
SANTA CLARA PUEBLO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Velarde, Pablita (Santa Clara); Velarde, Pablita, illus. Old Father Storyteller . Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers; 1989. 56 pages. (upper elementary/ secondary).
Artist/author Pablita Velarde recalls some of the tribal legends that she heard her grandfather and great grandfather tell at Santa Clara Pueblo when she was a child. Each legend is accompanied by beautiful full-color illustrations. The author explains: "Indian legends are not always easy to understand, for the small details are very likely to carry much meaning. For the non-Indian reader I have tried to simplify and explain some things more than Old Father did for his listeners."
SANTA CLARA PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Swentzell, Rina (Santa Clara Pueblo); Steen, Bill, photog. Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters . Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company; 1992. 40 pages. (Gordon Regguinti, Series Ed. We Are Still Here: Native Americans Today ). (elementary).
Gia Rose and her Tewa family of Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico are the focus of this beautifully illustrated book. The book provides a glimpse into contemporary Pueblo life as it describes the process of collecting clay and making pottery. Includes a word list and suggestions for further reading.
TAOS PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Gordon-McCutchan, R. C.; Foreword by Frank Waters. The Taos Indians and the Battle for Blue Lake . Santa Fe, NM: Red Crane Books; 1991. 236 pages. (secondary). *.
This book provides a well-researched history of the Taos Pueblo's sixty-four-year battle with the U.S. government to regain its rights to the sacred Blue Lake and surrounding wilderness, and of the many individuals who fought on the side of the Pueblo. This was the first (1970) land claims case settled in favor of an Indian tribe based on freedom of religion. Includes a chronology of events, an index, and a foreword by Frank Waters. Illustrated with photographs.
Keegan, Marcia. The Taos Pueblo and Its Sacred Blue Lake . Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers; 1991. 63 pages. (secondary). *.
The Taos have continuously inhabited their New Mexican Pueblo for over 800 years. The sanctity of the sacred mountain lake whose waters are considered the source of all life and the final resting place for their souls after death, was destroyed in 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt established a national forest on the land. This book contains a history of Taos Pueblo, focusing on the Taos' attempts to resist Spanish, then United States control, and details their successful fight to regain Blue Lake. The return of Blue Lake to the Taos people in 1970 set a precedent for other Indian nations throughout the country who are still fighting for land and water rights. The book includes many excellent black-and-white photographs of Taos Pueblo and people.
TAOS PUEBLO FICTION
Clark, Ann; Lujan, Tonita (Taos Pueblo).Little Boy with Three Names . Reprint of Department of the Interior 1940 ed. 55 pages. (elementary).
The three names of this Taos Pueblo boy are: Tso'u (his given name), Jose La Cruz (his Spanish name), and Little Joe (his boarding-school name). The book describes his day-to-day experiences and relationships with friends and family while at home from boarding school for the summer. The book provides cultural information on seasonal ceremonials and the Indian Ceremonial held at the end of the summer. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Kennedy, John G. The Tarahumara. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1990. 103 pages. (Frank W. Porter III, Gen. Ed. Indians of North America). (secondary) *.
This clearly written, comprehensive, and balanced description of the Tarahumara of Northern Mexico, who have successfully resisted Euroamerican-imposed change. The book explains the social and economic significance of Tarahumara beer-drinking, curing ceremonies, ritual games, and gambling. Includes a glossary, bibliography, index, and Tarahumara-At-A-Glance.
TESUQUE PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Clark, Ann Nolan; Herrera, Velina, illus. In My Mother's House . Reprint of 1941 ed. New York, NY: Viking Press; 1991. 56 pages. (lower elementary).
This re-issue of a 1941 publication contains charming, simple poems by the author based on Tewa children's descriptions of daily life in Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. The poems, which contain much cultural information, discuss collecting wild plants, grinding corn, irrigating fields, building an adobe house, the village and the plaza, and the Pueblo Council. Includes Black-and-white drawings.
TOHONO O'ODHAM (PAPAGO) TRADITIONAL STORIES
Baylor, Byrd. And It Is Still That Way . New York, NY: Trails West Pub.; 1987. 96 pages. (elementary).
See annotation under Apache Traditional Stories.
TOHONO O'ODHAM NON-FICTION
Baylor, Bird; Parnall, Peter, illus. The Desert is Theirs . New York, NY: Macmillan Child Group; 1987. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
In simple, lyrical prose, the author describes the Tohono O'Odham's intimate relationship to the desert and its animals and plants, with whom the Tohono O'Odham feel kinship. The book depicts the activities and attitudes inherent to desert life (e.g. patience: the desert has its own time). Includes appealing full-color illustrations.
TOHONO O'ODHAM FICTION
Baylor, Byrd. Yes is Better than No . Reprint of 1977 ed. New York, NY: Treasure Chest; 1991. 242 pages. (secondary) *.
This is an engaging story about the problems faced by Tohono O'Odham living in a ghetto in contemporary Tucson. This unique book humorously depicts the Tohono O'Odham perspective of nonsensical bureaucratic regulations and compassionately describes such problems as alcoholism, welfare-dependence, and single parent households.
Hobbs, Will. Bearstone . New York, NY: Avon; 1991. 160 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
Cloyd Atcitty, a Ute teenager, is sent by his social worker to spend the summer with an elderly non-Indian rancher, Walter Landis. This is the story of their gradual accommodation of and mutual respect for each other. The activities in the story (fence-building, mining, and bear-hunting, each with aspects inherently adverse to American Indian values) mirror the dichotomies faced by today's American Indians as they straddle traditional and mainstream cultures.
d'Azevedo, Warren L. Straight with the Medicine: Narratives of Washoe Followers of the Tipi Way . Photo offset reproduction of original 1978 handset ed. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books; 1985. 53 pages. (secondary).
This book consists of narratives collected in the 1950s from seven members of the Washoe Tribe, all followers of the Native American Church. The narratives "concern a search for a more meaningful life...personal dignity...and rediscovery of the positive values of an Indian past which had been dimmed by a century of conquest and degradation." Most are based on notes taken by the author, were attempts to retain the oral quality of the original. Some narratives recount personal experiences; others are "well-known tales exchanged by Peyotists throughout the country and told for both entertainment and moral instruction." Topics include the significance of peyote, songs, feathers, and the Tipi Way.
Stan-Padilla, Viento. Dream Feather . Millbrae, CA: Book Publishing Company; 1987. 72 pages. (elementary)?.
This abstract piece of writing will undoubtedly leave readers (children and adults alike) confused. The book provides no indication of any specific tribe, although it mentions the Yaqui in the Library of Congress catalog data.
Iverson, Peter; Fujiwara, illus. Carlos Montezuma . Milwaukee, WI: Raintree Publishers; 1990. 32 pages. (Herman J. Viola Raintree-Rivilo American Indian Stories). (lower and upper elementary).
This biography traces the life of Carlos Montezuma (Yavapai) who earned an M.D. in 1889. As a doctor, Montezuma became a spokesman for his people, critical of the reservation system and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He established the newspaper, Wassaja , as well as the Society of American Indians. The book contains a chronology of Montezuma's life and full-color illustrations.
ZUNI PUEBLO TRADITIONAL STORIES
Cushing, Frank Hamilton. Zuni Folk Tales . Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press; 1992. 474 pages. (secondary).
A reprinting of the classic collection compiled by Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1901, this book contains an original (1901) introduction and an introduction from the second printing (1930), but no contemporary interpretation of this work. This comprehensive collection includes legends collected by Cushing during a five-year period in which he lived with the Zuni as a field collector for the Bureau of American Ethnology. Illustrated with black-and-white line drawings as well as a section of archival photographs relating to Southwest cultures.
Hillerman, Tony; Grado, Janet, illus. The Boy Who Made Dragonfly . Reprint of 1972 ed. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press; 1986. 81 pages. (upper elementary) *.
In this retelling of a Zuni legend, a young boy and his sister are stranded alone in their village after a drought. With the help of a dragonfly created by the boy, the children become wise and powerful leaders of their people. Notes on the origin of the myth and explanations of the meaning of the story in terms of Zuni symbolism and philosophy are included, making this a useful resource.
Rodanas, Kristina; Rodanas, Kristina, illus. Dragonfly's Tale . New York, NY: Clarion Books; 1991. 32 pages. (lower elementary).
This retelling of a Zuni story, originally translated by anthropologist Frank Cushing in 1884, has been altered by the author "in the hope of conveying this tale's important and timely message." In this story about the consequences of wasting precious resources, and of the importance of generosity, a young Zuni boy and his sister are stranded alone in their village after a drought. When the boy creates a toy dragonfly, the insect comes to life to help the children. The story is illustrated with beautiful full-page, full-color illustrations.
ZUNI PUEBLO NON-FICTION
Cunningham, Keith. American Indians' Kitchen Table Stories . Little Rock, AR: August House Publishers, Inc. 240 pages. (W.K. McNeil, Gen. ED. American Folklore Series). (secondary).
See annotation under Navajo Non-Fiction.
Kirk, Ruth. Zuni Fetishism . Albuquerque, NM: Avanyu Publishing Inc.; 1943. 65 pages. (secondary).
This series of articles originally published in the Journal of the Museum of New Mexico in the 1940s examines Zuni fetishes, which play an important part in Zuni religion and ceremonialism. The book describes twenty-five pieces, falling into ten categories, including hunting, witchcraft, and punishment. The descriptions of the sacred pottery jars in which the fetishes are kept are "described using interview notes from anonymous members of the Pueblo whose narratives provide significant insight into the lives and minds of Zuni people." s/Zuni/Southwest.
ZUNI PUEBLO FICTION
Clark, Ann Nolan; Sandy, Percy Tsisete (Zuni), illus. Sun Journey: A Story of Zuni Pueblo . Santa Fe, NM: Ancient City Press; 1988. 84 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) *.
This well-written, informative book describes ten-year-old Ze-do's year of Zuni training to acquire the wisdom of his people. The text contains much cultural information as it describes the many Zuni seasonal events. Includes appealing black-and-white illustrations.