Synopses & Reviews
A Little Bit Of Wisdowm is the first individual Nez Perce narrative publised in more than half a century and the first ever told exclusively in English. Although scores of volumes have been written about the Nez Perce people, almost all of them concentrate on the only war between the United Staes and the Nez Perce people, and especially upon young Joseph and the famous 1877 flight and surrender. By contrast, this book tells the personal story of Isluunts ( Horace Axtell), a contemporary Nez Perce elder and spiritual leader, who grew up in northern Idaho on a windy prairie speaking The Prairie dialect of his people. His great-grandfather fought and died in the battle at Bear Paw Mountains, but the story Horace tells inside the pages of this book is about growing up Christian while maintaining a strong tribal identity, about going to war and then to prison, and then coming home to rediscover the Long House and Sweat Lodge and the sacred practice of the Seven Drum Religion. It is a story he tells in his own plain-spoken style about what it means to speak two languages and to live simultaneously but harmoniously in two very different worlds. In these worlds Christianity and the native Nez Perce religion exist side-by-side in a careful relationship. But it is also a story about family and extended familyrelationships, about respect, tradition, patience, kindness, healing, and grace ( as well as their oppistes). Here then is one man's story of contemporary Nez Perce culture told with good will and plenty of gentle humor about some of life's most inewxplicable mysteries.