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In a Sacred Manner I Live: Native American Wisdom

In a Sacred Manner I Live: Native American Wisdom

by Neil Philip (Editor)

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A collection of Native American speeches and excerpts, from the 17th century to the present day.


A collection of Native American speeches and excerpts, from the 17th century to the present day.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
This moving anthology of Native American words and photographs includes a wide variety of prayers, songs, speeches and reminiscences, ranging from Massachusetts to California, and from the 1600's to the present. Famous leaders like Black Elk, Chief Joseph, and Geronimo are represented, as well as lesser-known, but equally eloquent speakers. While many subjects are covered, speeches concerning culture clash and feelings of reverence for the earth are most prevalent. The many striking historic black and white photos are an integral part of the book. An introduction, further reading list, index, and list of text and picture sources are included.
"And the word is sacred," wrote M. Scott Momaday. Neil Philip develops this thought in the pictures and the words he has chosen for this meditative book. Full-page sepia prints by Edward Curtis and other well-known photographers of the turn of the 20th century create a mood of reflection for the quotations from Native American leaders and writers. Many of the citations are familiar; we have heard the words of Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle, Cochise, and Black Elk before. Their setting here, however, lends them increased power. The words speak of the sacred, of prayer, of reverence for the earth, but also of pain, of hunger, of suffering, summed up, perhaps, in the words of Red Cloud: "We do not want riches, we want peace and love." This is a book to be read slowly; this is a book to be thought about. Highly recommended. KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1997, Houghton Mifflin, Clarion, 93p. illus. notes., Ages 12 to adult.
—Patricia Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up--A standard compilation of Native American oratory and photographs. Making heavy use of Edward S. Curtis's sepia-tone prints, this handsome book presents little new in comparison to earlier titles, such as T. C. McLuhan's Touch the Earth (S & S, 1976). Indeed, the formats and content of both books are very similar. There are a few less-commonly featured quotations here, but most are familiar passages from such heavily quoted speakers as Black Elk, Sitting Bull, Seattle, etc. Speakers are predominantly from western tribes, as are the photos. Generally, the photos reflect the nations of the speakers, or, at least, their cultural type or region. However, they don't always complement the prose. While a quote from Black Elk features a photo of the Lakota visionary and Arapaho songs are flanked by Arapaho dancers, Shawnee oratory is incongruously paired with photos of Paiute prophet Wovoka and a Sioux woman. Such inconsistencies mar the book's effect. Documentation and brief background notes for both text and photos are solid, with individual speakers identified by name and tribe. Sources are given, and there are indexes by tribe and speaker. A useful compilation only if similar collections are not available.--Lisa Mitten, University of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
Carefully selected, sepia-toned archival photographs of Native Americans draw readers in with their haunting beauty, and reflect aspects of ancient stories. Philip, in what is essentially a companion book to Earth Always Endures (1996), offers a lovely book to browse, full of words that have been passed down, from elder to younger, in moving text and pictures, further supported by captions and notes. He covers almost four centuries of philosophical musings, from Chief Powhatan in 1609, to the contemporary Sioux medicine man Leonard Crow Dog in 1995, and in the process illustrates the harmony and tradition of Native American culture. The photographs make additional points: There is artistry in the tipis, with their bold scenes of horses in flight, and grace in the designs of the sand paintings. In such a meticulous gathering, traditional values and beliefs emerge for contemporary readers: To live in a sacred manner is to take pleasure in being alive in the moment and in the world.

From the Publisher

"Carefully selected sepia-toned archival photographs of Native Americans draw readers in with their haunting beauty, and reflect aspects of ancient stories." Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Neil Philip is a noted folklorist and anthologist who has written several books on Native American and multicultural themes for Clarion, including IN A SACRED MANNER I LIVE, which was named both a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in England.

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