Native American Cooking

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This volume is part of the "Native American Life" series, which seeks to dispel common misrepresentations of Native Americans. The senior-consulting editor, Dr. Troy Johnson, describes the goals of the series in an introduction. Beginning with an overview chapter, seven chapters cover Native American cooking in Northeastern United States and Canada, Southeastern United States, U.S. Southwest and West, Latin America, North Central and Western U.S. and Canada, and the Far North. Although most of the information presented seems fairly accurate, the very wide scope of the book does result in over-generalizations. Also, a good, cultural map is essential, but no map of any kind is included. The use of many inserts, sidebars, color photos and drawings mixed with a moderate amount of text helps give the book an appealing, user-friendly appearance. The tone of the writing is respectful. In spite of some weaknesses, the book should be useful for student research and browsing. A chronology, glossary, index, bibliography and internet resources list are included. 2003, Mason Crest Publishers,
— Gisela Jernigan
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Written in a clear, engaging, and respectful manner, these books are organized geographically and make clear the impact of the environment on every aspect of the various cultures. A central theme of Cooking is that the environment governs food choices. It is also noted that people who adhere to their culture's traditional diet are generally healthier than those who eat modern, processed foods. Tools begins with the Nootka Indians of the Pacific Northwest and an exciting description of a whale hunt, the tools used, and the role that women play in the drama. Then, region by region, the tools and weapons of other tribes are presented. What the Native Americans Wore seems on the surface to be organized by style of clothing, but once again it quickly becomes clear that the climate and environment of a region have a major impact on attire. It is a particular strength of these books that the designation "Native American" includes the indigenous people of Central and South America as well as Canada. All three volumes are illustrated with archival pictures and photographs. Inserts and captions add additional information, and the introductory chapter points readers to the "Further Reading" section. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, the Web sites listed are generally disappointing and, for the most part, either too commercial or not age appropriate. That slight flaw notwithstanding, these books are worthy of consideration.-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Children's Literature - Sharon M. Himsl
According to Carew-Miller, one half of all food crops grown today were developed from the wild by Native Americans. Some crops can be traced back eight thousand years. Corn, squash and beans were the three main staples developed by the agricultural tribes, and became known as the “three sisters.” In some tribes only the men grew and tended crops, while in others only the women did. Non-agricultural tribes, more affected by the climate and habitat, relied more on hunting, fishing and the gathering of berries, roots and other foods in the wild. All of the tribes, therefore, had their own cooking methods and recipes. When Europeans began arriving and settling native land, they adopted many Native American foods, while also sharing the foods and animals brought with them. For instance, the Navaho learned how to herd sheep and the settlers learned to eat corn bread. However, the settlers often depleted traditional food sources by over hunting and forcing Native Americans to relocate. Large numbers were ordered by the U.S. government to leave the land for reservations, where many suffered health problems from the lack of traditional foods. To compensate, many learned how to cook with new ingredients, using wheat flour, for instance, and creating new recipes (such as “fry bread”). Native Americans prepare traditional foods to this day, some during special ceremonies demonstrating the spiritual connection to food. Other foods are quite common, such as tortillas, beef jerky, steamed shellfish, smoked salmon, succotash, hominy, and chocolate. Carew-Miller discusses six Native American groups by their geographic location: Northeastern U.S. and Canada; Southeastern U.S.; U.S. Southwest and West, Mexico; Central and South America, and the Caribbean; North Central and Western U.S. and Canada; and the Far North. Photos are provided throughout, as are a glossary, chronology and list of resources. Part of the “Native American Life” series. Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl; Ages 10 up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590841310
  • Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Native American Life Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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