Serpent's Tongue: Prose, Poetry, and Art of the New Mexico Pueblos

Serpent's Tongue: Prose, Poetry, and Art of the New Mexico Pueblos

by Nancy Wood, Oliver Littlebird, Oliver La Farge, Tony Hillerman
     
 

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This peerless compendium, voted best nonfiction book of the year by the Mountains and Plains Booksellers' Association, pays tribute to one of North America's most enduring cultures, offering a rich sampling of works by noted Pueblo and non-native scholars, writers, and artists. Carefully selected from an exhaustive catalog of sources, the more than one hundred text… See more details below

Overview

This peerless compendium, voted best nonfiction book of the year by the Mountains and Plains Booksellers' Association, pays tribute to one of North America's most enduring cultures, offering a rich sampling of works by noted Pueblo and non-native scholars, writers, and artists. Carefully selected from an exhaustive catalog of sources, the more than one hundred text selections include works of prose, poetry, autobiography, and historical narrative. Seventy-five unusual illustrations--from a rare drawing by D. H. Lawrence to striking portraits by photographer Edward S. Curtis and the brilliantly colorful paintings of Pablita Velarde and Helen Hardin--illuminate life in the pueblos, recording ceremonies, symbols, and spaces.

Lavishly designed in five colors, this eminently readable volume offers a story and mood for everyone and an authentic introduction to the cultural legacy of the ancient peoples of the Southwest. Fully annotated with bibliography, source notes, maps, and biographical entries, and with an inviting thematic organization for the casual reader, this beautiful book will find a permanent place in homes, libraries, and collections across the country.

Contributors include:

Paula Gunn Allen
Willa Cather
Frank Hamilton Cushing
Tony Hillerman
Oliver la Farge
Harold Littlebird
Barry Lopez
Simon J. Ortiz
Joe S. Sando

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
This beautiful, thick, large format collection of New Mexico Pueblo poetry, songs, prayers, folktales, legends, memoirs, and histories is edited by award-winning Southwest poet, Nancy Wood. Besides several poems by Wood, the collection also includes writings from Native American authors such as Simon Ortiz, Leslie Marmon Silko, and N. Scott Momaday and knowledgeable non-Indian writers like Mary Austin, Tony Hillerman and Willa Cather. These items are skillfully combined with many old photos and colorful artwork by Pueblo artists (including school children) to present a very appealing tribute to Pueblo history and culture. The collection is divided into 8 parts: Creation, Childhood, A Lasting Way of Life, Abode of Souls, Pueblo, Hunting, Ceremony and Courtship, and Two Worlds. Each part is represented by a variety of written genre and artwork. An introduction, map, index, bibliography, and lists of literature and art sources are included. This is a book that could be shared and appreciated by families from the Southwest or other regions.
VOYA - Suzanne Manczuk
For sheer beauty and loving attention to detail, and as a comprehensive representation of a culture, this anthology has few equals. Wood selected text and images from a thousand pages of writing and four hundred art works, molding her finished volume into a loving tribute to the native Americans of the nineteen Pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley. Contributors are both native Americans, such as N. Scott Momaday, and observers of the culture, such as Tony Hillerman. Writing selections come from the sixteenth century as well as the 1990s. Motifs from Pueblo pottery, baskets, clothing, and tools decorate the pages; chapter division pages are works of art in themselves. The collection is divided into general topics, beginning with creation stories and poems. The other sections form a "circle of life" from cradle to grave, ending with the present-day "Two World" dichotomy of which native Americans in the twentieth century are a part. Magical and spiritual throughout, this book will make teens laugh, cry, think, and reflect, acting as a kaleidoscopic view on a vanishing way of life. Text and images are superbly paired here, and while the unusual Edward Curtis photogravures are haunting, it is the Tewa children's bold drawings and emotionally evocative art that touches the soul. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA Codes: 5Q 2P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up--What Hyemeyohsts Storm did for the Plains Indians in his Seven Arrows (Ballantine, 1985), Wood has done for the New Mexico Pueblos. This accomplished and wide-ranging anthology brings together primary-source accounts, poetry, legends, recipes, reminiscences, and beautifully reproduced art and photographs to chronicle the tribes' history. Divided into eight sections, the handsome, oversized volume covers creation myths, childhood, the given truths of the tribes, spiritual beliefs, the actual pueblos, hunting, ceremonies and courtship, and the meeting of the Pueblo with outside worlds. The writings have been meticulously chosen from an array of Native and non-Indian sources including those of prominent anthropologists. N. Scott Momaday, Willa Cather, Barry Lopez, D. H. Lawrence, Edward S. Curtis, and Tony Hillerman are a few of the better-known names that appear. Add to this mix a stunning array of artwork that includes photogravures, paintings, archival reproductions, drawings, and sculpture, and the result is a clear revelation of the world of New Mexican Native Americans. Students of all ages will find the book interesting browsing material, if only for the art. However, it will prove most useful for librarians, teachers, and storytellers who need information or legends from this particular culture. The retold myths especially lend themselves well to oral presentation. The extensive bibliography and notes on contributors, art, and literary sources make this is an indispensable resource for collections where the Pueblo tribes are a focus, and a sound purchase for anyone interested in the history of our nation.--Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525455141
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
11.42(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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