Native American Religions

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-These books attempt to cover too much in 55 pages, resulting in generalities and omissions. Family Life provides five 10-page chapters on the peoples of the Americas, from Alaska to the Caribbean. It is impossible to cover these nations even superficially in the allotted space. As a result, readers encounter the words Taino, Timucua, Cheyenne, Carib, and Seminole in a section titled "Parrots for Pets and Postball as a Pastime." Are these the only nations worthy of study? Why were they selected for mention? Also, there is no indication if this is strictly historical or a contemporary approach to the topic. The other two books are equally general. None have maps so readers will not understand how many nations have been overlooked. As it stands, these volumes give students a few tribal names, a few concepts, and not a very orderly approach to the topics. Color illustrations, photographs, and line drawings of varying quality appear in each book, along with a slight glossary (with no pronunciations) and a short list of titles for further reading/research. Students would be better served by a book on a "representative nation" from the main geographic areas, such as Danielle Corriveau's The Inuit of Canada (Lerner, 2001) or Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve's The Iroquois (Holiday, 1995). For topical information, select books like Bonnie Shemie's Houses of Wood: The Northwest Coast (Tundra, 1992).-Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
There are over two hundred and fifty known Native American languages. Each of these languages has a rich and varied vocabulary for describing animals, plants, and nature in general. Yet, despite the diversity inherent in Native American languages, there is no word that directly translates into English as “religion.” For Native Americans, past and present, religion is a more all-encompassing concept than it is for other faiths. Rather than seeing God as a separate creative force, many Native Americans view the Creator or Great Spirit as completely connected to the world as a whole. In this way, all of the world around us is a part of God and therefore both spiritually valuable and connected to human beings. Native American spirituality often features a web of life containing living beings and other natural elements as all part of one entity, created by God and bespeaking God’s presence. In this volume of the illustrated “Native American Life” series, Rob Steuger addresses these concepts, and many others linked to the spirituality of First Nation peoples. He approaches his subject thematically, using geography as a marker. The beliefs of Native peoples of South and North America are discussed, compared, and contrasted. In this way readers learn about topics such as vision quests, sweat lodges, Aztec sun gods, sacrifices, totem animals, and many other elements of Native American spiritual life. While the content is sometimes a bit esoteric, the end result is a serviceable review of keynote Native American beliefs and how they manifested in day-to-day life. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck; Ages 12 up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590841228
  • 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: 6.68 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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