The traditional culture of Native Americans of the Great Plains is presented in fourteen brief chapters of basic information, enlivened by many attractive color photos, paintings and drawings. Some of the groups included in this predominantly general ethnography are the Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Mandan, Cree, Sioux, Crow, Cheyenne and Comanche. The book points out that while these nations shared a similar lifestyle, they also had different languages and some different customs. Topics introduced include kinship, social organization, gender roles and work, education, entertainment, spirituality and material culture. There is a map, an index and a glossary. This volume is part of the "Native Nations of North America" series. 2001, Crabtree, $22.60 and $7.95. Ages 7 to 12. Reviewer:Gisela Jernigan
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Accessible books about topics that are studied in most elementary schools. The information on housing, storage, village structure, and family life is straightforward, easy to read, and interesting, although life on the Plains seems less harsh than existence really was. The texts are peppered with full-color illustrations-at least one to a page-that depict Native Americans in historical times engaged in daily activities such as eating, storytelling, and building lodges. There are no source notes, and the glossary has no pronunciation guide. The illustrations are uneven. Some are reminiscent of 18th-century romantic paintings, some are contemporary, and some are just plain bad. For example, along with works by quality contemporary artists Howard Terpning and James Bama there are others where facial features are so poorly rendered that it is difficult to distinguish one person from another. The books are generally good, but the illustrations do them a great disservice. Michael Bad Hand Terry's Daily Life in a Plains Indian Village 1868 (Clarion, 2001) is a better choice because it uses real-life models to show actual clothing and articles used by Plains Indians.-Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.