A Braid of Lives: Native American Childhood
By Neil Philip
- Author: Neil Philip
- Publisher: Clarion Books
- Published: August 2000
- ISBN-10: 039564528X
- ISBN-13: 9780395645284
- Format: Hardcover
- Copyright: 2000
- Subject: JUVENILE NONFICTION / Games & Activities / General
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A collection of first-person narratives celebrates the individuality and variety of Native American life as experienced by its children, from games and education to rights of passage.
Native American voices spanning a hundred years present a collective sense of childhood and a scope of individual experience. Similar in format to Philip's Earth Always Endures: Native American Poems (1996) and In a Sacred Manner I Live: Native American Wisdom (1997), this collection speaks more closely to a young audience in its subject matter. From the words of Charles A. Eastman and Sarah Winnemuca to the more contemporary voices of Louis Two Ravens Irwin and James Sewid, the narratives describe aspects of childhood life in many tribes. Subjects range from playing house and playing war to having hair cut at a boarding school and being buried alive in order to hide from white men. Like the previous collections, this is illustrated with archival photographs, printed in duotone, that are evocative, but overly romantic in tone. The fact that the experiences were recorded, in word or picture, almost entirely in the late-19th and early-20th centuries gives an overall sense of distance and of "The-Indian-of-the-Past" to this collection, although readers may find the narratives themselves immediate. Philip gives both English and actual names of people and tribes after each selection, as well as sources for all pictures and texts at the end of the volume. A bibliography of further reading and indexes of speakers, writers, and Indian nations enhance the collection. Wonderful words in a museum-quality package, readers may find their way slowly to this book, but they should find the trip worthwhile. (introduction, indexes, further reading, source notes) (Nonfiction. 10+) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews
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