Book of Elders: The Life Stories and Wisdom of Great American Indians As Told to Sandy Johnson


A collection of life stories and photographs of some of this country's greatest living American Indian elders, many of whom have never before been interviewed. "A stirring and wonderful book. The portraits are wonderful"--Peter Matthiessen
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0062508377 Harper San Francisco; 1994. Paperback. First printing. New and in-stock. We pack securely and ship daily w/delivery confirmation on every book. The picture on the ... listing page is of the actual book for sale. Additional Scan(s) are available for any item, please inquire. Read more Show Less

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A collection of life stories and photographs of some of this country's greatest living American Indian elders, many of whom have never before been interviewed. "A stirring and wonderful book. The portraits are wonderful"--Peter Matthiessen
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With graceful and sure prose, Johnson relays 31 extremely moving Native American stories she collected during a three-year cross-country journey and personal odyssey that began in 1989 after she had a ``vision'' in her New York City home. Johnson is a perfect conduit for the voices of the elders she interviews, giving her work immense credibility and spiritual resonance. An elder is defined not by age or gender, but as ``one who carries the knowledge of the tradition and wisdom of the heart, one who walks in truth and dignity no matter how poor, in humility no matter how revered.'' The varied tribal voices telling these stories, which span the history of relations with the federal government as well as Native American spiritual and cultural practices, are essentially the voices of the past, present and future brought together. These people clearly touched Johnson's life. She beautifully records in words the same nobility that Budnik captures so well in his candid portraits. (July)
Library Journal
Alienated by the depersonalization of our technological society, many people in the United States are drawn to the teachings of the first Americans. Johnson traveled the country, interviewing revered elders among today's Native American groups; the resulting book is a compilation of what they felt was important to share with the world at large. Their compelling stories encourage the reader to reflect upon personal priorities and marvel that lives so materially poor are so spiritually rich. Some of the elders, such as Hopi spokesman Thomas Banyacya, are known outside their communities. Others are local treasures, accorded the respect elders earn in Native American societies. All have a message we need to hear. For general and Native American collections.-Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., N.Y.
A collection of photographs, stories, and oral traditions from a broad range of Native American experiences and tribal customs. Johnson spent three years collecting personal histories of 30 elders from 19 tribes, spanning 13 states in the US and Canada. The elders are important spiritual, political, and cultural figures in their communities, and include spiritual healers, speakers at the United Nations, political and environmental activists, and grandparents. Black-and-white portraits illuminate the elders' words. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062508379
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st HarperCollins pbk. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.08 (w) x 10.77 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Sioux 9
Pete Catches 9
Arvol Looking Horse 22
Carole Anne Heart Looking Horse 27
Hopi 32
Martin Gashweseoma 32
Thomas Banyacya 37
Dineh 45
Roberta Blackgoat 46
Tulalip 52
Janet McCloud 52
Onondaga 64
Leon Shenandoah 65
Audrey Shenandoah 72
Alice Papineau 79
Six Nations 88
Sara Smith 88
Mohawk 99
Craig Carpenter 99
Pit River 108
Willard Rhoades 108
Shoshone 118
Frank Temoke 121
Carrie Dann 123
Cree 129
Vernon Harper 129
Rose Auger 135
Warm Springs 146
Verbena Greene 146
Sylvia Walulatuma 156
Nettie Queahpama 160
Matilda Mitchell 163
Ute 165
Bertha Grove 165
Seminole 173
Sonny Billie 173
Annie Jimmie 178
Apache 182
Mildred Cleghorn 182
Haida 188
Lavina White 188
Bella Bella 194
Emma Humchitt 194
Kiowa 201
Gus Palmer 201
Yurok 208
Georgiana Trull 208
Pueblo 213
Santiago Leo Coriz 213
Lakota/Seminole 220
Mike Haney 220
Epilogue: Reclamation 233
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