GREAT BASIN TRADITIONAL STORIES
Clark, Ella C. Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press; 1966. 350 pages. (Civilization of the American Indian; v. 82). (secondary).
Original sources are cited in this collection of 121 traditional stories, personal narratives, and historical traditions from thirteen tribes of the Northern Rockies. The stories are arranged by language group, each section preceded by a brief historical note on the tribes represented. This valuable, clearly written resource includes source notes, a bibliography, and an index.
GREAT BASIN NON-FICTION
Bains, Rae; Guzzi, George, illus. Indians of the West. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary) ?.
This is a very 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 attempt 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," 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.
Buan, Carolyn M.; Lewis, Richard, eds. The First Oregonians: An Illustrated Collection of Essays on Traditional Lifeways, Federal-Indian Relations, and the State's Native People Today. Portland, OR: Oregon Council for the Humanities; 1991. 127 pages. (secondary) *.
This overview of the nine federally recognized tribal groups in Oregon presents information on traditional lifeways, languages, Euroamerican contact, federal-Indian relations, misconceptions about Indians, and Oregon Indians today. The final section includes essays describing projects undertaken by tribes to help recover their people's heritage. An excellent resource, illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs.
Forbes, Jack D. (Lenape). Native Americans of California and Nevada. Revision of 1969 ed. Happy Camp, CA: Naturegraph Publishers. 240 pages. (secondary).
This handbook, especially written for teachers and school administrators, consists of two parts: a condensed history of Indians of California and Nevada; and some basic concepts on American Indian studies, with suggestions for a multicultural, community-responsive approach to Indian education. The history briefly covers pre-Contact life, the deleterious impact of Spanish missions, and the takeover of Indian land by white settlers. The role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Dawes Act in these events also are discussed. The section titled "The Native Awakening" takes up the story of Indian struggles for equality of citizenship, land and compensation, improved education, and efforts to redress poverty and discrimination. In the second part, the author analyzes the questions: "Who is an Indian?" and "What are Indian cultures?" Includes a guide to resources and further reading, a California/Nevada Native American history chart, and a linguistic classification of California and Nevada Indians. Illustrated with archival photographs.
Sherrow, Victoria. Indians of the Plateau and Great Basin. New York, NY: Facts On File; 1992. 96 pages. (The First Americans). (upper elementary/secondary) *.
This book is a visually appealing, well-written account of the tribal roots, lifeways, rituals, and history of the Indian tribes of the Plateau and Great Basin. A section on "Tribes Today" is included. Black-and-white archival photographs illustrate the text, and full-color inserts feature the desert landscape, traditional daily life, spiritual beliefs, and modern life. Maps of the Great Basin and Plateau culture areas and an index are included.
Morrow, Mary Frances; Bronikowski, Ken, illus. Sarah Winnemucca. Milwaukee, WI: Raintree Publishers; 1990. 31 pages. (Viola, Herman J., Gen. Ed. American Indian Stories). (elementary).
Daughter of a Paiute chief, Sarah Winnemucca (1844--1891), who spoke English and other Indian languages, was called upon to interpret in negotiations between the Paiute and whites. She eventually became a spokesperson for her people. This book traces her life, describing her childhood fear of whites and her grandfather's admiration for them, the Paiutes' confinement to reservations, and Sarah's numerous efforts on behalf of her people. Includes full-color illustrations and a chronology of the life of Sarah Winnemucca.
Franklin, Robert J.; Bunte, Pamela A. The Paiute. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1990. 110 pages. (Frank W. Porter, III, Gen. Ed., Indians of North America). (upper elementary/secondary) *.
This is a history of the Paiute Indians who originally lived in what is now Utah and parts of Arizona and Nevada. A presentation of traditional Paiute life is followed by discussions of the devastating effects of both the mid-19th-century influx of pioneer and Mormon settlements among the Paiute and of epidemic disease. Twentieth-century threats to Paiute survival are outlined, followed by a final chapter on modern Paiute communities. Includes a full-color picture essay on Paiute weaving, a bibliography, "Paiute-At-A-Glance," a glossary, and an index.
Stowell, Cynthia D. Faces of a Reservation: A Portrait of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. West Salem, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press; 1987. 189 pages. (secondary) *.
This excellent contemporary portrait of the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon is presented in two parts. The first consists of photographs and thumbnail sketches of 52 individuals on the reservation---their varied lives, hopes, and fears. Occupations and interests include disc jockey, logger, sheriff, Indian Shaker Church, powwow dancing, and giveaways. The concerns of alcoholism and single--parent families are expressed. The second part includes an excellent history of the reservation, which encapsulates the history of U.S. Government--Indian relations, the problems faced by the American Indian community, and the role of tribal government.
Brown, Marion Marsh. Sacagawea: Indian Interpreter to Lewis and Clark. Chicago: Children's Press; 1988. 115 pages. (upper elementary).
This is a coherent, readable account of the young Shoshone woman who acted as Lewis and Clark's interpreter. In attempting to relate events as seen through Sacagawea's eyes, the author at times seems to impose a feminist attitude upon Sacagawea. For instance, would Sacagawea have resented her status as a woman in Shoshone society, which she describes as inferior? Consistent references to herself as a "squaw" reinforce this characterization. Her surprise at the fair treatment received from Lewis and Clark compared to that from the Shoshone and Hidatsa is a recurring theme.
Freedman, Russell. Indian Chiefs. New York, NY: Holiday House; 1987. 139 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
The story of how the West was lost is told through the biographies of six chiefs who were faced with the effects of European westward expansion: Red Cloud (Oglala Sioux), Satanta (Kiowa), Quanah Parker (Comanche), Washakie (Shoshone), Joseph (Nez Perce), and Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Sioux). Whether the chiefs cooperated or resisted, the end result was the same in all cases---dispossession and removal to reservations. Key elements that emerge in all six biographies are the deliberate annihilation of the buffalo and consistent breaking of treaties by the U.S. Government. This useful reference book is well-illustrated with good archival photographs.
Howard, Harold P. Sacajawea. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press; 1971. 218 pages. (secondary).
The author describes this biography of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific Coast from 1804 to 1806, as "an effort at an unbiased appraisal of Sacajawea and her achievements." The story incorporates accounts of Lewis and Clark and other participants in the expedition, and information from historians and researchers. The book includes detailed descriptions of the expedition, only some of which mention Sacajawea, with speculation about her life and the lives of her husband and children after the expedition. Includes a bibliography, index, and black-and-white illustrations. Basin/Shoshone/Hidatsa/bio/s.
Jassem, Kate; Palmer, Ian, illus. Sacajawea: Wilderness Guide. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1979. 48 pages. (lower elementary).
This story of Sacajawea, her capture by the Minnetaree (Hidatsa), marriage to a French fur trapper, Charbonneau, and subsequent participation in Lewis and Clark's exploratory journey West, is told in a perfunctory, uninteresting manner. The black-and-white illustrations are uninspiring.
Madsen, Brigham D. Chief Pocatello: The White Plume. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press; 1986. 142 pages. (secondary).
This biography of the Shoshone Chief Pocatello, an important and independent leader who influenced some of the major events in the history of what are now the states of Utah and Idaho, is well-researched and well-written. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Rowland, Della; Leonard, Richard, illus. The Story of Sacajawea: Guide to Lewis and Clark. New York, NY: Dell Publishing; 1989. 91 pages. (elementary).
In this informative, non-romanticized biography of Sacajawea, the author does not rely on her own inventions to add interest to the tale, but allows the adventure inherent to the events to carry her story. She provides ethnographic information, such as the lifeways of farmers and hunters, as well as historical background on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Includes black-and-white drawings and a map showing the route of the expedition.
Seymour, Flora Warren; Doremus, Robert, illus. Sacagawea: American Pathfinder. Reprint of 1945 ed. New York, NY: Aladdin; 1991. 192 pages. (Childhood of Famous Americans). (lower elementary).
As part of a series devoted to childhood, this book (originally published in 1945) presents a romanticized view of Sacajawea as a childhood heroine. Sacajawea is credited as having saved both her brother's and grandmother's lives. Her journey with Lewis and Clark, the only historically documented part of Sacajawea's life, is given just brief mention in the text.
Carter, Walden R. The Shoshoni. New York, NY: Franklin A. Watts; 1989. 64 pages. (A First Book). (lower elementary).
This book, which describes the ecology of the Great Basin and pre-Contact lifeways of the Shoshone, covers such topics as subsistence, seasonal cycles, housing, kinship, social organization, religion and the spirit world, and the important role of women. This is followed by sections on Contact and the effect of the horse, European settlers (Mormons), and a brief (one-page) section on contemporary life. Illustrated with archival photographs and reproductions of prints.
Corless, Hank. The Weiser Indians: Shoshoni Peacemakers. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press; 1990. 170 pages. (secondary).
This book presents a history of the Weiser, a band of northern Mountain Shoshone who were the last, free, nonreservation Indians living in what is now southwestern Idaho. In the 1870s, many of the Weiser were settled on reservations, but a small number hid in the mountains and escaped detection by non-Indians for another twenty years. This meticulously researched book documents Indian-white relations in southwestern Idaho during the period of white encroachment, as it tells the story of the Weiser's attempt to keep peace between white settlers and other Indian groups. All sources are noted. Includes an extensive bibliography.
Fradin, Dennis B. The Shoshoni. Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1988. 48 pages. (New True Book). (lower elementary).
This clearly written account of Shoshone history and traditional lifeways was prepared in consultation with the staff of the Shoshone Bannock Museum. The book is produced with large print and illustrated with photographs and reproductions of 19th- and 20th-century paintings.
Gregory, Kristiana. Jenny of the Tetons. San Diego, CA; New York, NY: Gulliver Books, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers; 1989. 119 pages. (secondary).
Fifteen-year-old Carrie Hill is orphaned by an Indian raid while traveling West with her family on a wagon train. She is befriended by English trapper "Beaver Dick" and is taken to live with Dick's wife Jenny, a Shoshone Indian, and the couple's five children. Each chapter of the story begins with an excerpt from the journal of Richard "Beaver Dick" Leigh, a real historical figure who led explorers of the Hayden Survey of 1872 into northwestern Wyoming. The author embellishes the story of Beaver Dick and his family through the fictional character, Carrie, whose observations relate the joys and hardships of life with a family whom she grew to cherish and admire. Includes a bibliography.
Gregory, Kristiana. The Legend of Jimmy Spoon. San Diego, CA: Gulliver Books; 1990. 159 pages. (secondary).
Inspired by the memoirs of Elijah Nicholas Wilson, a white man who lived with the Shoshone in the mid-1800s, this coming-of-age novel is about twelve-year-old Jimmy Spoon and the three years he lived among the Shoshone. Although he is young, Jimmy's character is presented as disproportionately wise to his Shoshone counterparts, indicating cultural bias. For example, when a bear attacks a member of the tribe, Jimmy is "horrified" that no one attempts a rescue, and exclaims, "That's not how I would do things." In another scene, thirteen-year-old Jimmy advises one of the chiefs, "No one wins if everyone keeps fighting. Maybe if the chiefs put their pipes together they can agree to stop once and for all."
O'Dell, Scott. Streams to the River, River to the Sea: a Novel of Sacagawea. Boston, MA: Fawcett; 1987. 176 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).
In this highly fictionalized account of Sacagawea's journey with Lewis and Clark, she falls in love with Clark. The author's introduction explains the historical and political background to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the sources he used for the story.
Thomasma, Kenneth; Hundley, Eunice, illus. Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran. Jackson, WY: Grandview Publishing Company; 1983. 175 pages. (upper elementary).
The story of Naya Nuki, an eleven-year-old Shoshone girl who, along with her best friend Sacajawea, is captured by an unidentified enemy tribe. The novel follows Naya Nuki from her bold escape, through her arduous 1000-mile solo journey back home to her people. A fast-paced adventure story, the novel contains some useful information about Shoshone life and customs, and, refreshingly, features a female as a strong, surviving hero. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings.
UTE TRADITIONAL STORIES
Stevens, Janet; Stevens, Janet, illus. Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale. New York, NY: Holiday House; 1993. 31 pages. (elementary).
In this retelling of a Ute tale about Coyote, the traditional trickster character, Coyote steals a blanket he finds in the desert, despite the warning of Hummingbird that the blanket does not belong to him. The rest of the tale describes Coyote's adventures with a mysterious and dangerous rock, which seems to be teaching him a lesson about respect for things that are not his. The original source for this legend is not cited. Lavishly illustrated with full-color, full-page drawings.
Borland, Hal. When the Legends Die. New York, NY: Bantam Books, Inc.; 1984. 224 pages. (secondary).
When his father is wanted for killing a fellow Ute, 5-year-old Thomas Black Bull and his parents hide in the wilderness and resume living a traditional life. Later, after both of his parents have died, 11-year-old Thomas is forced into the white world, where he wrestles with the issue of his identity. This moving novel takes place in the early 20th century and describes, through the experiences of Thomas, the negative experiences he endures while living in an alien culture. Despite his outstanding success as a bronco rider, Tom remains a loner in an unfamiliar world and feels his life is meaningless. Only a return to his childhood home and acceptance of his Ute past allow him to achieve full identity, maturity, and understanding. This is a well written novel with especially gripping descriptions of bronco riding.
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