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Native Universe: Voices of Indian Americaby Gerald Mcmaster
Synopses & Reviews
The Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian will be the last museum to be built on the National Mall and its opening will be a major, national media event. To commemorate the opening, the National Geographic Society has collaborated with the museum's curators and advisers to produce a lavishly illustrated, comprehensive volume based on major themes relevant to American Indian peoples. Written by a distinguished group of Native American scholars, poets, activists, and tribal leaders, the book will offer its non-Indian readers a closer understanding of Native perspectives, beliefs, and histories. The real power of this volume rests with its power to communicate firsthand the experiences, observations, and intellectual concepts of the hemisphere's indigenous peoples, who demonstrate that their ancient philosophies and folkways are integral, valuable, and still apply in modern times. This unprecedented book consists of three major sections --Our Universes explores Native spiritual beliefs; OurPeoples presents historical and contemporary events from a Native American point of view; and Our Lives illustrates the diversity of Native peoples today--each with a lead essay, supporting pieces, and sidebars on selected topics. There are more than 300 illustrations (250 in color), some of them archival, but most show rare and beautiful Indian artifacts seldom seen which when organized together in one volume showcase the rich tradition of Native American artistic achievement.
"Published for the September 21 opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on Washington Mall, the three main sections of this majestic book ('Our Universes,' 'Our Peoples' and 'Our Lives') feature more than 300 color illustrations of Native artworks, from Inka to Iroquois, with poems by N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Linda Hogan and others; extensive essays on Native mythology, history and identity; and even an excerpt from the Sherman Alexie script for Smoke Signals. The essays, which range from straightforward histories to deeply felt testimonials, are written by a wide range of Native cultural personages, including Wilma Mankiller (the first woman to be elected by the Cherokee Nation as its principal chief), Gabrielle Tayac (daughter of medicine man Chief Turkey Tayac in the Chesapeake Bay region) and Vine Deloria Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins. Despite the very generous and impressive selection of art, which even includes three multipage 'Portfolios' of ancient, historical and contemporary Native artwork, the visual aspect of the book inevitably comes in second. This is not entirely the editors' fault: the intricacy and incredible range of Native artwork, which here includes both South and North American art, is simply too enormous to share space equally with the absorbing writing. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This gorgeous volume draws from the vast archives of the National Museum of the American Indian and the voices of some of the most prominent Native American scholars, writers, activists and tribal leaders. More than 300 full-color illustrations depict the artistry and culture of our hemisphere's diverse indigenous peoples. With its insightful, firsthand prose, the book is a reminder that the ancient philosophies and folkways are just as valuable and relevant in today's world as they were generations ago.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This sumptuously illustrated cultural history--written exclusively by Native Americans--has been developed in conjunction with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian to mark its much-anticipated opening on the National Mall in September 2004. 300 photos throughout.
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