A world-renowned Pomo basket weaver and medicine woman, Mabel McKay expressed her genius through her celebrated baskets, her Dreams, her cures, and the stories with which she kept her culture alive. She spent her life teaching others how the spirit speaks through the Dream, how the spirit heals, and how the spirit demands to be heard.
Greg Sarris weaves together stories from Mabel McKay's life with an account of how he tried, and she resisted, telling her story straight—the white people's way. Sarris, an
Indian of mixed-blood heritage, finds his own story in his search for Mabel McKay's. Beautifully narrated, Weaving the Dream initiates the reader into Pomo culture and demonstrates how a woman who worked most of her life in a cannery could become a great healer and an artist whose baskets were collected by the Smithsonian.
Hearing Mabel McKay's life story, we see that distinctions between material and spiritual and between mundane and magical disappear. What remains is a timeless way of healing, of making art, and of being in the world.
In his endeavor to write about McKay, the celebrated Pomo basket weaver and medicine woman, Sarris English, UCLA has been able to find his own identity. Part American Indian, Filipino, and Jewish, he was adopted at birth and is now chief of the Coast Miwok tribe. His bonding with this extraordinary individual and his growth during their relationship is described throughout the book. Sarris's catharsis is reflected on the last page: "I squatted in front of her and repeated my questions. `Why did you do it for me?' She looked me in the eye and said, plain as day, `Because you kept coming back."' McKay's life, simple yet spiritual, is as quintessential as the baskets she wove. Her stories are poignantly collected and captured in this biography. Recommended for public libraries.-Vicki L. Toy Smith, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)
Meet the Author
Indian, Filipino, and Jewish, Greg Sarris was adopted at birth and raised in both
Indian and white families. He is Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and chief of the Coast Miwok tribe. He is the author of Keeping Slug Woman Alive: Essays Toward a Holistic Approach to American
Indian Texts (California, 1993), editor of Rattles and Clappers: An Anthology of California
Indian Writing (1994), and author of a volume of short stories, Grand Avenue (1994).