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; Montaņo, 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.
McCall, Barbara. The European Invasion. (Native American Culture. Jordan E. Kerber, series editor.) Rourke Publications, Inc., 1994. 64 pages. (upper elementary).
The book describes the impact Europeans had on American Indian societies and on relationships among tribes. The book is divided into the following chapters: The Early Visitors, The Spanish Influence, French Traders, English and Dutch Settlers, and The Effects of the Wars. Illustrated with color and black and white photographs and illustrations. Glossary, bibliography, and index.
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.
Prentaz, Scott. Tribal Law. (Native American Culture. Jordan E. Kerber, series editor.) Rourke Publications, Inc., 1994. 64 pages. (upper elementary).
This well-written book explores Native American tribal laws and legal traditions today and in the past, among cultures of diverse geographic regions (Plains, West, Southwest, Eastern Woodlands). The book describes Native lifeways and value systems, offering insight into how American Indian societies deal with crime and disputes between people. For instance, murder in one society might lead to blood revenge while in another, payment is given to the victim's family. Illustrated with color and black and white photographs, some historic. Glossary, bibliography, and index.
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.
Sherrow, Victoria. Spiritual Life. (Native American Culture. Jordan E. Kerber, series editor.) Rourke Publications, Inc., 1994. 64 pages. (upper elementary).
American Indian tribes practiced many different religions. While these religions shared many similarities such as a belief in a Creator or Great Spirit, explanations on how the world and its life forms were created, codes of behavior, spiritual leaders, and acts of worship, they also had their differences. Native religious ceremonies were closely tied with daily life, relating to such activities as healing the sick, harvesting crops, successful hunting, and the passages of life-birth, puberty, and death. The book focuses on tribes representing different geographic areas-the Northeast, South, Southwest, Plains, and the West. Illustrated with color and black and white photographs and illustrations. Glossary, bibliography, and index.
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.
Steptoe, 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.
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