American Indian art and culture is vibrant and thriving today, with exciting new artists, writers, filmmakers, and chefs drawing on inspirations from the cutting edge of the 21st century to the most hallowed traditions of their ancestors. This gorgeous, oversized art book explores the intersection where the new generation meets the wisdom of the elders.
The Native American story is a vibrant and living one, not a closed chapter of history as too many books make it seem. American Indian explores the rich history and cultural traditions of tribes and nations, while celebrating today’s vibrant and ever-evolving artistic expressions, current history-makers, and the wisdom of the elders that invigorates and inspires past, present, and future.
In this book’s beautiful pages, you’ll find:
- Modern Native art, and its role in both sacred and secular tribal society. This book contains several stunning pieces from leading American Indian artists never before seen outside of museums.
- Music and movement across generations. Dynamic photography of today's powwow and ritual dancers, and never-before-photographed artifacts from the Smithsonian and other collections.
- The cuisine of a continent. How America's bounty enriched the world, and how a new generation of Native chefs, including noted personalities Loretta Barrett Oden and Nephi Craig, are reinterpreting an astonishingly rich culinary history. Includes recipes!
Eight well-established subject-specific scholars contributed essays to each chapter of American Indian, and four general editors assisted in compiling the pages.
Harvests of Land and Sea
Nephi Craig is Director of Native American Cuisine Studies at Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, responsible for researching and developing the first Native cuisine curriculum in the United States. A classically trained chef, he is also the founder of the Native American Culinary Association (NACA), a research and networking organization dedicated o the development and preservation of American Indian culinary traditions and professionals. Of Navajo and White Mountain Apache descent, he is a member of the White Mountain Apache tribe.
Return to the Three Sisters
Loretta Barrett Oden is a Citizen Band Potawatomi tribal member, and is an internationally recognized chef. Her five-part PBS series, Seasoned with Spirit: A Native Cook’s Journey, won an Emmy in 2007. She has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and the TV Food Network, and was selected to serve on the board of directors of Chefs Collaborative. An active member of Slow Food International and Slow Food UA, she attended the Slow Food and Terre Madre Conference in Italy as a representative of the North American Indigenous Delegation.
Point of the Four Winds
Medicine & Healing Chapter
Dr. Janine Pease direct Native American Studies at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. For eighteen years, she served as president of Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana. She is a MacArthur Fellow, and was named National Indian Educator of the Year, as well as one of the fourteen most important American Indian leaders of the the 20th century in The New Warriors. A woman of the Crow and Hidatsa tribes, Pease participates in sweat lodge ceremonies and gathers herbal foods and medicines for her family. Her studies focus on Plains Indians traditions, American Indian women’s spiritual roles, education and language immersion schools, and voting rights.
We All Come Together
Feasts & Festivals Chapter
Dr. Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne, holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She is Professor Emeritus in Native American Studies and Special Assistant to the President at Montana State University, Bozeman, and co-founded the Montana State University’s Council of Elders, composed of leaders of all of Montana’s tribes.
Songs to the Spirits
Music & Movement Chapter
Iris HeavyRunner-Pretty Paint is an educator, a researcher, and a leading authority on Native student retentions and cultural resilience. She is Co-Director of ROSNA (Research Opportunities in Science for Native Americans) at the University of Montana, and in recognition of her dedication to the field, she was elected a member of the American Indian Graduate Center’s Honorary Advisory Council of One Hundred Leaders, Scholars, and Traditions. She is a member of the Blackfeet and Crow tribes. With her husband, Stan Pretty Paint, she began the Montana Indian Hall of Fame to honor influential Native song keepers.
From River Cane to Raven’s Mask
Art & Craft Chapter
Dr. Bruce Bernstein is the Executive Director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the association that organizes the renowned annual Santa Fe Indian Market. Previously, he was Assistant Director for collections and research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, as well as director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He received his graduate and doctoral degrees form the University of New Mexico, and has written broadly on the Native arts.
Thread the Needle
Beauty in Utility Chapter
Emma Hansen is Curator of the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody, Wyoming. An enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation, her degrees include an M.A. in sociology, both from the University of Oklahoma. She has curated several exhibitions and written extensively on Plains Indians arts and cultures, and has lectured at museums and universities in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
Bounty of the Elders
Shared Wisdom Chapter
Dr. George Charles is Director of the National Resource Center for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He is Yu’pik, and fluent in the Yupiaq language. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has written extensively on Yupiaq and Native Alaskan languages, religious studies, and healing traditions. As US Navy Vietnam veteran, he credits his cultural perspectives to hius Yup’ik elders.
Dr. Rayna Green is Curator and Director of the American Indian Program at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, and holds a Ph.D. in folklore and American studies. A member of the Cherokee Nation, she is a scholar, exhibition developer, filmmaker, and writer. She specializes in American Indian history and culture and American/American Indian food and foodways.
Dr. Nancy Parezo holds a tenured professorship in the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies department, as well as an appointment at the Arizona State Museum. She is also an affiliated Professor in Anthropology and a Research Associate for the Field Museum of Natural History. Her focus is on issues related to Southwest American Indian women’s art production, and she has published extensively in the field.
Dr. Ken Pepion is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He has held prior leadership positions at Harvard University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the University of Arizona, Montana State University, and the University of Montana. In 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentoring. He is a member of the Blackfeet tribe.
George Young has held a variety of positions in book publishing, including Editor-in-Chief at Ballantine Books, Vice President of Ten Speed Press, and Publisher of Comstock Editions, which specialized in books about the American West. He was the Executive Editor for The Native Americans: An Illustrated History, published in 1993.