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All Our Relatives: Traditional Native American Thoughts About Nature

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Joe Medicine Crow, Foreword. 'All Our Relatives' is an often-repeated refrain in Lakota ceremonies and prayers: mitakuye oyasin, meaning 'all my relative' or 'we are all related.' It is an acknowledgment, central to the cultures of Native American people, that we and all things share in Creation: people, birds, animals, plants, trees, rocks, rivers.

Editorial Reviews

A beautiful, if overstuffed, compendium of First Nations' prayers, aphorisms and storytelling about animals. The title comes from the Lakota prayer refrain mitakuye oyasin, which means "all my relatives," or "we are all related." Each spread holds a story or two, and then a series of quotations or sayings about the animal in the story, all carefully but unobtrusively footnoted. The profusion of illustrations, brightly colored and "taken mostly from tipis, shields and drums," says Goble in an author's note, are both fascinating and pleasing to look at. Sometimes the pictures are so numerous they overwhelm the text, and sometimes the pages seem to have too many words. However, the stories and the wisdom are strong, and occasionally enchanting: "The buffalo liked to wallow their big heads in the sunflowers . . . Perhaps they did this to decorate themselves, or maybe they liked the smell of the flowers." Especially useful for older children. (foreword by Joe Medicine Crow, author's note, footnotes) (Folktales. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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